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Low level bombing-some observations - 3/1/2011 9:24:45 PM   
crsutton


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Hi all,

I have been running some simple tests with fighters, fighter bombers, attack bombers and medium bombers at low altitudes, mainly to see if strafing works and if it is worth it to go in low. I ran multiple tests with various planes at both 100 feet and then ranging from 1000 to 6,000 feet. One series of tests were on a Japanese tank regiment in open terrain, one series vs an airbase with no AA, one series vs an airfield with a small AA unit and the last series against a small cargo convoy consisting of 3 DDs and a few AKLs. Below are my observations. Admittedly these tests are simple and fairly basic. I invite all comments and suggestions-or corrections.

First and foremost is that strafing does work. I was not so sure but test attacks with hellcat fighters with no bombs show some damage to all three target types. Not much but some.

Some basics. I used the editor to set the plane types and all squadrons had a base exp skill of 70. The various skill sets randomly assigned by the editor differ with plane type. Fighters and fighter bombers will have an average of 70 skills in air and staffing-all other skills will be in the 30s. Attack bombers come with low bombing, low nav, high bombing and strafing skills “all” in the 70 range, and medium bombers come with only high bombing skills in the 70 range. The tank unit was set to “combat” and had no AA to speak of. The airbase had 56 betty bombers and five zeros sitting on the tarmac. The AA unit there had 16-18 75mm AA guns and about a dozen MGs. The small convoy had the expected AA for mid 1942-not to great.

It is important to note that fighters and fighter bombers will drop to 100 feet to strafe and bomb when set to 1,000 feet and below. They will bomb at between 3-5,000 feet regardless of any other setting below 6,000 feet. Medium bombers will go in at the altitude that you set. Attack bombers always drop down to attack at 100 feet whenever set to attack below 6,000 feet- above that altitude they act like medium bombers.

Don’t expect a whole lot from pure strafing. The beaufighter, B25H and G models have impressive armament but won’t win the war by throwing lead. Even the 75mm of the G model slamming a few hits into a DD left only moderate sys damage.

In low level attacks (100ft) it is the bombs that do damage not the MGs, and as my wife keeps telling me “size does matter”. The lovely beaufighter with its bank of 20mm cannons is a strafing pig due to the weak effect of its 250 lb bomb. Results vs ground units and airfields are so poor that I would not recommend using the plane at all for this purpose. I don’t recommend low attack with any 1st generation fighters except those few that carry 500lb bombs. Results gradually increased with bomb load. The P39 was much better due the 500 pound bomb, and the best results came not from the medium bombers but from the late war P38s and thunderbolts with their 1,000 lb bombs (although the mediums with multiple 500 pound bombs do just fine).

I really saw no variation between the medium B25-C and the B25H at 100 feet. Versus unprotected tanks and unprotected airbases they both seem to do the same amount of damage. However once you throw in a little flak then the equation changes dramatically. Basically flak, even a little flak, matters. Any aircraft attacking at 100 feet is going to get punished. In my tests, I did ten consecutive passes vs the target (usually taking about 12 days due to weather) and looked over the results. No matter the plane, it is not unusual for a squadron to lose 3-6 aircraft over the course of the test-usually to flak but with the occasional op loss. The only difference is that at 100 feet the B25 C begins to also take a severe morale hit while the attack bombers and fighters really never dropped below 90.

If you move the fighter and fighter bombers up to the 3-5,000 foot range then their bombs begin to become ineffective (as it should be). Basically, if you are going to bomb with fighters then 100 feet is the only way to go for bases and ground units. There is no sense bombing from any other altitude. With the B25-C, you are still very effective at any low altitude taking fewer flak and morale hits as you get higher. The attack bombers always drop down so you don’t have much choice here.

There is not much experience gained when the stats are in the 70 range but fighter and fighter bombers do gain low ground exp due to them starting in the 30 range. I really saw no difference between the attack bombers with 70 strafing and low bombing skills over fighters and mediums that only had the 70 skills in the strafing sector. At 100 feet the strafing skill seems to be the most important.

Here is the rub though. As a test I moved the B25s up to 7,000 feet and tried them out on the tanks and the airfield. To my surprise, both the mediums and attack bombers were virtually as effective at this altitude and the defending AA left them virtually untouched! They were still fairly good at 15,000 feet too. So, I question why anyone would bother going low at all with any sort of medium bomber? I don’t really see any benefit to it and so would have to say that the only real skill necessary with a medium bomber is high bombing when hitting land targets. It is best to just use them at 7,000 feet or higher.

Now naval bombing is a different story. Versus my small convoy, attacking at 100 feet with all types was very effective. Against the seven smaller ships even the beaufighters were able to do some serious damage. Results varied as some days there were two strikes but basically beaufighters, P39s, B25 C, H and G versions, lightings and thunderbolts all did very well. The bombers and beaus had 16 plane squadrons and the fighters 24. At 100 feet they strafed and bombed with plenty of hits usually sinking about 3-4 ships per attack. The mediums with multiple bomb loads scored a few more hits but basically all were successful. The only difference is that the H and G mitchells would attack in 2 plane sections rather than 4 and I frequently got the message that they were suppressing flak. It was hard to determine if it was effective as the convoy did not really have much AA anyways and no plane type suffered heavily from flak. One thing to note is that fighters and fighter bombers (beaufighters anyone?) never suppress flak only attack bombers do. I like this suppression but I think it really should apply to all low flying planes with forward firing weapons. Also, at no point did I ever see attack bombers suppressing ground based flak. Nor did I ever see a skip bombing attack but this test is set in mid 42 and I don’t know if there is a time trigger for skip bombing. It did not matter. The bombs hurt no matter how they hit.
As a test, I dropped the skill levels down to 50 for a few units and ran them vs. the ships. With average skills in the 50 the planes attacked and still did a nice job of hacking up the ships. I would say that the common belief that you need to train them up to 70 in strafing and low nav is a myth. The fighter bombers went in with 70 strafing skills and low nav in the 30 and still made a fine mess of things. As expected the DDs were much harder to hit with bombs. For reference a flight of Mitchell Gs hit a DD on a few occasions while strafing and landed a few 75mm hits. While not dramatic, they usually left the DDs with 15-20 sys damage. I never saw any reference to the 75s while attacking tanks or airbases. They were not that accurate so I would not expect much there. Versus barges-even a few MG hits will quickly kill a barge.

One quirk, Aircraft set to low will rarely attack a TF located at a base under CAP-even with good escorts available. Place the TF one hex away and CAP it with the same number of fighters on LRCP and the opposing bombers will almost always attack. So if you are running barges and small AKLs try to get them to a port every turn with some fighters overhead to reduce the risk of attack. Or leave them one hex out with a fat LRCP to set a trap-depending.
I have yet to try tests vs ships in port but will get to that as well has TFs with heavier AA loads.

Now a few notes on weather. As far as I can see weather is just about as screwed up as can be. There seems to be no relationship between the weather in a hex during an attack and the effect of the attack. That is, if the attack goes in-it seems to be just as likely to be effective in a severe storm as on the rare clear day. And, there seems to be about a zero % chance the projected weather in a hex will actually be the weather for that day. In WWII weather forecasting was usually right about 60% of the time. For this reason, I would recommend that you pay no attention to the weather forecast when planning to fly your aircraft. My little test platform was in N. Oz where the weather is usually clear and dry (yes, we all now know that they have a rainy season). I would say that in the combat reports, I was seeing clear or part cloudy weather about 20% of the time. However, it did not matter as the type of weather made no difference anyways. In order to get ten days of attacks I had to run tests for about 12-14 days on average. Bomber missions were scrubbed due to weather but I could not see any relationship between bad weather and a mission getting scrubbed. It just seems to be random.

And interesting enough, if you turn off the advanced weather effects in the settings before starting a game, you will always get a weather forecast of “partial clouds” each and every day, but the combat report will still give you all types of weather in the attacked hex!!! What is going on here? I suspect that nobody has ever played a game with weather effects turned off and this has been missed. So , from my tests it does seem that weather will affect spotting but once spotted and attacked the type of weather in the hex has no effect on the outcome to the attack.

That’s it for now. I plan on doing some more tests and will report back what I find.


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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/1/2011 10:45:22 PM   
oldman45


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You know the B-25's with the solid noses, could wreck a japanese DD/TB/Escort. My friends dad tell us stories of how they would watch the hulls turning cherry red from the impact of the 50 cal's. Shame the 50's can't do more damage.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/1/2011 11:16:56 PM   
Sredni

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Here is the rub though. As a test I moved the B25s up to 7,000 feet and tried them out on the tanks and the airfield. To my surprise, both the mediums and attack bombers were virtually as effective at this altitude and the defending AA left them virtually untouched! They were still fairly good at 15,000 feet too. So, I question why anyone would bother going low at all with any sort of medium bomber? I don’t really see any benefit to it and so would have to say that the only real skill necessary with a medium bomber is high bombing when hitting land targets. It is best to just use them at 7,000 feet or higher.


This is what I've been finding. Using attack bombers at low alt vs normal bombers at 10k+ you get roughly the same sorts of damage, but the normal bombers take way less casualties. The attack bombers I was testing vs ground targets were getting shredded, and not just plane losses but also many pilot losses. Many more then would be sustainable considering the time you need to invest to train attack bomber pilots (straf, lowG vs just groundB). I trained mine in lowN as well and found that they're better used as the army version of dive bombers for taking out naval targets.

They don't "seem" to take as many casualties during naval attacks, but that could just be because by the time I had attack bombers to use the naval targets I had to attack were small and poorly protected. I don't know how they would fare against proper warship TF's. Their range is similar to navy dive bomber with drop tank ranges so they can fulfill the same sort of role as our land based navy dive bombers.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/1/2011 11:38:03 PM   
witpqs


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Thanks for undertaking that series of tests - most informative.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 12:00:30 PM   
obvert


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I had some Hurricanes do pretty well at bombing 100 feet with their 500 lbs early in Burma. They had a fairly high strafing and ground bombing rating. Now, in mid-42 they are doing less well. It could be partly terrain, (did that factor into the test with tanks?) or type and number of units attacked. Not sure.

Have you tried other types of units being attacked?

One last thing. For ASW, have you tried any attacks on subs at different heights? I've noticed a lot of sightings by ASW planes, but not many conclusive attacks. Is height a factor in these attacks?

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 2:47:29 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

I had some Hurricanes do pretty well at bombing 100 feet with their 500 lbs early in Burma. They had a fairly high strafing and ground bombing rating. Now, in mid-42 they are doing less well. It could be partly terrain, (did that factor into the test with tanks?) or type and number of units attacked. Not sure.

Have you tried other types of units being attacked?

One last thing. For ASW, have you tried any attacks on subs at different heights? I've noticed a lot of sightings by ASW planes, but not many conclusive attacks. Is height a factor in these attacks?



No, the tests were in clear terrain. I wanted to establish a test on a simple and a level playing field. Any sort of terrain will lower the results but not necessarily the trend. I find bombing in jungle terrain to be very ineffective, as I would expect. It would be nice to know the differences in hitting a unit in clear terrain vs other but I doubt I will fool with it.

I only tried the one tank unit due to its having no AA and it is easier to count casualties as I am only dealing with vehicles. Many Japanese units have no or little AA. They would be the easiest to hit. But a large Japanese force with organic AA is going to hit back. Perhaps later I will try it out on an infantry regiment but I don't expect the basic pattern to differ.

One note, each test the tank units got hit by ten attacks and I then counted the losses. The best results from say the B25 H or jugs would perhaps kill 1/3 of the tanks and vehicles and disable almost all of the others. However in one attack with the B25 c at 5,000 feet, the tank unit disintegrated and was destroyed totally. Apparently, when you disable everything in the unit then the kills really start to pile on. Apparently this one series of attacks got some pretty good rolls and the tank unit fell apart. So if you catch a tank regiment moving around in the open, it just might pay to pile it on for a week or two.

Have not fooled with ASW at all.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 4:44:32 PM   
EUBanana


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton
This is what I've been finding. Using attack bombers at low alt vs normal bombers at 10k+ you get roughly the same sorts of damage, but the normal bombers take way less casualties.


That isn't my experience... I use attack bombers against airfields at 1000' and they do damage totally out of proportion to their numbers in my experience. I've seen 16 B25D1s do 50+ runway hits in one pass, fairly regularly. I think they are actually dishing out more pain than an equivalent number of heavy bombers at 8000'.

Heavy flak is bad news for an attack bomber, though.

I don't use attack bombers in 'ground attack' role, versus LCUS, though, as LCUs seem to be quite bristly targets with lots of low level flak, which makes flying at 1000' hazardous.

< Message edited by EUBanana -- 3/2/2011 4:46:03 PM >


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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 5:18:36 PM   
AirGriff


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Wow. That is some very detailed information. Thanks very much for doing the work. I keep trying to find the time to do some strafe testing on loaded convoys. The very limited testing I've done suggests 50 cal hits on a supply loaded AK will do some damage to the cargo--killing a higher percentage of the cargo than ship damage, which is probably as it should be.

I wonder if the devs are interested in tinkering with the strafing models?

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 7:43:56 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EUBanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton
This is what I've been finding. Using attack bombers at low alt vs normal bombers at 10k+ you get roughly the same sorts of damage, but the normal bombers take way less casualties.


That isn't my experience... I use attack bombers against airfields at 1000' and they do damage totally out of proportion to their numbers in my experience. I've seen 16 B25D1s do 50+ runway hits in one pass, fairly regularly. I think they are actually dishing out more pain than an equivalent number of heavy bombers at 8000'.

Heavy flak is bad news for an attack bomber, though.

I don't use attack bombers in 'ground attack' role, versus LCUS, though, as LCUs seem to be quite bristly targets with lots of low level flak, which makes flying at 1000' hazardous.


From what I have seen, it does not matter if you use the attack bomber at 5,000 1,000 or 100 ft they are going to drop down to attack and take flak at 100 ft, if set anywhere below 6k. The B25 C was very destructive while level bombing at the 2,000-5,000 range but more prone to flak and morale loss.

Anyways that was not my comment that you quoted. My tests found that mediums set to 7,000 feet to be almost as destructive as attacking at 100 ft. I made no tests at 10,000 ft, but one or two at 15,000 where the mediums still did sufficient damage but not near as much as when attacking low.

There are two factors working here. You have to remember that this was a test of ten consecutive attacks, so there is a diminshing return when attacking at 100ft as more of the bombers are lost (I had no replacements set) and more are left on the ground awaiting repairs. Versus light flak at 7,000 feet the bombers were hardly touched so more bombers were there to bomb on a daily basis-and when you consider the losses compared to the gains, I see no real benefit to dropping down to strafe when there is any real sort of flak to deal with. At 7,000 feet the bombers were accurate enough and they were fairly safe from flak.

That is not to say that there are not times when it is not a good idea to attack from very low. If you are using fighters and fighter bombers then you really have no choice. But with the mediums (scarce enough as it is) it may not be wise. But sometimes you need maximum results in one pass so it might be wise to hit em with everything you have at 100 ft. and take the losses. I think the real issue is that I saw flak supression only when attacking ships at 100ft. It might be different if flak were supressed when attacking bases as well but I saw nothing in the combat report to indicate that it was.



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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 7:45:17 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AirGriff

Wow. That is some very detailed information. Thanks very much for doing the work. I keep trying to find the time to do some strafe testing on loaded convoys. The very limited testing I've done suggests 50 cal hits on a supply loaded AK will do some damage to the cargo--killing a higher percentage of the cargo than ship damage, which is probably as it should be.

I wonder if the devs are interested in tinkering with the strafing models?



Hmmm... good point. I did not load the TFs. Wonder what would happen if they carried fuel?

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 8:28:55 PM   
EUBanana


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I never bomb at 100', seems to be much less effective than bombing at 1000' for some reason.

Maybe this is superstition on my part.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/2/2011 8:32:05 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Thank you for this, very useful.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/3/2011 2:24:44 PM   
bushpsu

 

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EUBanana - that has been my experience also. The 100' foot attacks do almost no damage, except to my aircraft. I use 1,000' most of the time.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/3/2011 3:39:07 PM   
crsutton


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Well, admittedly my tests were fairly simple but I saw no difference at all as fighters and fighter bombers drop down to 100 ft when set at 1,000 and attack bombers drop to 100 feet when set anywhere below 6,000. I saw little variation between results or damage taken by flak leading me to think that the flak shoots back while you are at 100 ft.



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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/3/2011 3:50:26 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton


quote:

ORIGINAL: AirGriff

Wow. That is some very detailed information. Thanks very much for doing the work. I keep trying to find the time to do some strafe testing on loaded convoys. The very limited testing I've done suggests 50 cal hits on a supply loaded AK will do some damage to the cargo--killing a higher percentage of the cargo than ship damage, which is probably as it should be.

I wonder if the devs are interested in tinkering with the strafing models?



Hmmm... good point. I did not load the TFs. Wonder what would happen if they carried fuel?



Ok, this just in! I took my little cargo TF and added a couple of large AKs for good measure, then I loaded them up with fuel and sent them back out to face the wolves. In the editor I took my squadron of B25-g and beaufighters and removed the bombs so that they would be strafing with MG and cannon only. I was a bit surprised at the results.

First, the B25 attack bombers would not attack shipping at all with the bombs removed. I tried many times and that dog just would not hunt. Must be tied to some code. However, the beaufighters did attack and did well enough to answer my questions. In about 5-6 days with an average of ten strafing attacks the beaus fairly well shot up the convoy - 3 ALKs, 2AKs and 3 DDs. The 303 MGs do not do much but the 20mm cannon get plenty of penetrating hits on the ships and sank most all of the cargo ships over ten attacks. I would on occasion get the dreaded "fuel burning" report and that always meant a dead ship at the end of the turn. But even without it burning a ship, the beaus would eventually put even a large AK on the bottom. I would say that versus small ships and larger cargo ships that strafing works very well.

Once again the DDs were harder to hit but a good strafing run would leave a DD with about 15-20 sys damage.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/3/2011 3:59:10 PM   
Chickenboy


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crsutton,

Firstly, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from posting anything helpful to AFBs. Just on general principle.

Secondly-a question: what AA capabilities did the xAKs, xAKLs and DDs have? Were these "December 7" stock AA or had they been upgraded? I wonder what the impact of upgraded DD AA suites would mean for the efficacy of the strafing run...

ETA: Oops...in rereading your initial post you indicated that the TF (I presume the DDs too) had "mid-1942" AA suites.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 3/3/2011 4:00:29 PM >


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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/3/2011 4:19:50 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

crsutton,

Firstly, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from posting anything helpful to AFBs. Just on general principle.

Secondly-a question: what AA capabilities did the xAKs, xAKLs and DDs have? Were these "December 7" stock AA or had they been upgraded? I wonder what the impact of upgraded DD AA suites would mean for the efficacy of the strafing run...

ETA: Oops...in rereading your initial post you indicated that the TF (I presume the DDs too) had "mid-1942" AA suites.



Yes, farily weak. Good enough to occasionaly splash a bomber but otherwise not that good. It is what you would expect from the average Japanese supply convoy. And with the beaufighters, there is not suppression of AA. Later on, I will try some stuff with a stronger warship TFs.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 12:35:40 AM   
oldman45


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Would you consider using the B25D-1 or A20 to see how they do with their 50 cals?

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 4:52:25 AM   
crsutton


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I suspect that they will have the same issue of not attacking if I remove the bombs, and you can't judge if they are dropping bombs too. Perhaps I can give the thunderbolt a try without bombs. I did try it will early hellcats, (six mgs with no bombs). They do damage to things but not much. Did not try them on fuel laden ships though.

< Message edited by crsutton -- 3/4/2011 2:43:27 PM >


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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 6:37:40 AM   
Patbgaming

 

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In the editor can you limit the B25's to one very small bomb ?

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 8:09:39 AM   
PresterJohn001


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton


That is not to say that there are not times when it is not a good idea to attack from very low. If you are using fighters and fighter bombers then you really have no choice. But with the mediums (scarce enough as it is) it may not be wise. But sometimes you need maximum results in one pass so it might be wise to hit em with everything you have at 100 ft. and take the losses. I think the real issue is that I saw flak supression only when attacking ships at 100ft. It might be different if flak were supressed when attacking bases as well but I saw nothing in the combat report to indicate that it was.




I'm pretty sure ive seen the flak suppression message when they attack my bases.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 2:38:49 PM   
EUBanana


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PresterJohn
I'm pretty sure ive seen the flak suppression message when they attack my bases.


Yeah, i think I've seen it, too.

I think attack bombers are devastating, provided the air defence is light. I'm pretty sure that against lightly defended bases, bomber for bomber they would be more effective than heavies at medium level (8000' is my fave) bombing, and with service rating 2, capable of sustained operations, as well.

Main problem is you don't really get very many of them.


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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/4/2011 2:45:44 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Patbgaming

In the editor can you limit the B25's to one very small bomb ?


Well, that would still present a problem as it would be difficult to keep track of ships that were hit by the small bombs and those that were not. And a small bomb hit would still skew the results. Does not matter though. The beaufighters proved that strafing alone works.

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RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/5/2011 9:30:40 PM   
EUBanana


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Got an interesting comparison here.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on Wotje , at 135,115

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid spotted at 42 NM, estimated altitude 13,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
PB4Y-1 Liberator x 10


Japanese aircraft losses
No Japanese losses

No Allied losses



Airbase hits 4
Airbase supply hits 1
Runway hits 11

Aircraft Attacking:
10 x PB4Y-1 Liberator bombing from 8000 feet
Airfield Attack: 10 x 500 lb GP Bomb

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on Wotje , at 135,115

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid spotted at 17 NM, estimated altitude 8,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
PB4Y-1 Liberator x 11


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-48-IIb Lily: 1 destroyed on ground


Japanese ground losses:
4 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled



Airbase hits 2
Runway hits 17

Aircraft Attacking:
11 x PB4Y-1 Liberator bombing from 8000 feet
Airfield Attack: 10 x 500 lb GP Bomb

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on Wotje , at 135,115

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid spotted at 32 NM, estimated altitude 6,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 8 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
B-25D1 Mitchell x 12


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-48-IIb Lily: 2 destroyed on ground

Allied aircraft losses
B-25D1 Mitchell: 1 damaged



Airbase hits 6
Airbase supply hits 3
Runway hits 52

Aircraft Attacking:
12 x B-25D1 Mitchell bombing from 100 feet
Airfield Attack: 6 x 500 lb GP Bomb



I think attack bombers and low level bombing definitely have their place, no?

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(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 24
RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/6/2011 10:38:55 AM   
EUBanana


Posts: 4058
Joined: 9/30/2003
From: Little England
Status: offline
Oh, I caught this, too...






Attachment (1)

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Post #: 25
RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 3/6/2011 2:39:45 PM   
AirGriff


Posts: 701
Joined: 10/11/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton


quote:

ORIGINAL: AirGriff

Wow. That is some very detailed information. Thanks very much for doing the work. I keep trying to find the time to do some strafe testing on loaded convoys. The very limited testing I've done suggests 50 cal hits on a supply loaded AK will do some damage to the cargo--killing a higher percentage of the cargo than ship damage, which is probably as it should be.

I wonder if the devs are interested in tinkering with the strafing models?



Hmmm... good point. I did not load the TFs. Wonder what would happen if they carried fuel?



Ok, this just in! I took my little cargo TF and added a couple of large AKs for good measure, then I loaded them up with fuel and sent them back out to face the wolves. In the editor I took my squadron of B25-g and beaufighters and removed the bombs so that they would be strafing with MG and cannon only. I was a bit surprised at the results.

First, the B25 attack bombers would not attack shipping at all with the bombs removed. I tried many times and that dog just would not hunt. Must be tied to some code. However, the beaufighters did attack and did well enough to answer my questions. In about 5-6 days with an average of ten strafing attacks the beaus fairly well shot up the convoy - 3 ALKs, 2AKs and 3 DDs. The 303 MGs do not do much but the 20mm cannon get plenty of penetrating hits on the ships and sank most all of the cargo ships over ten attacks. I would on occasion get the dreaded "fuel burning" report and that always meant a dead ship at the end of the turn. But even without it burning a ship, the beaus would eventually put even a large AK on the bottom. I would say that versus small ships and larger cargo ships that strafing works very well.

Once again the DDs were harder to hit but a good strafing run would leave a DD with about 15-20 sys damage.



Excellent. What about the cargo damage? I did a fair amount of testing in WitP where I would load a ship with supply or fuel and throw P-40's at them, count the 50 and 30 cal hits and then see how much cargo was destroyed. The 30's did very little, but as I recall, every 10 hits or so from the 50's would take out about 10% of the cargo. Not sure if it does the same in AE.

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(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 26
RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 5/1/2011 8:08:21 PM   
Mac Linehan

 

Posts: 1442
Joined: 12/19/2004
From: Denver Colorado
Status: offline
crsutton -

Excellent work. Read carefully twice, really helps the newbs (like me) to have something to work with. I realize that this is a work in progress, do hope you continue your testing - especially with ASW?

Again, all very much appreciated.

Mac

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(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 27
RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 5/3/2011 10:54:48 PM   
alanschu

 

Posts: 260
Joined: 12/21/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: EUBanana

That isn't my experience... I use attack bombers against airfields at 1000' and they do damage totally out of proportion to their numbers in my experience. I've seen 16 B25D1s do 50+ runway hits in one pass, fairly regularly. I think they are actually dishing out more pain than an equivalent number of heavy bombers at 8000'.

Heavy flak is bad news for an attack bomber, though.

I don't use attack bombers in 'ground attack' role, versus LCUS, though, as LCUs seem to be quite bristly targets with lots of low level flak, which makes flying at 1000' hazardous.



If it's counting strafe shots then it'd make sense the numbers are so high. I've seen numerous "shell hits" with submarines and stuff, only to find out they were shooting the .50 cal at the boat (since the 3" gun still has full ammo).

(in reply to EUBanana)
Post #: 28
RE: Low level bombing-some observations - 5/6/2011 12:47:29 AM   
vonTirpitz


Posts: 511
Joined: 3/1/2005
From: Wilmington, NC
Status: offline
Very informative crsutton. Did you happen to note the detection level of your targets on each turn?

Thanks again for sharing your results.


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Post #: 29
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