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Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1

 
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Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 10:33:28 AM   
majeloz

 

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Just been doing some planning games vs the AI to refine my Axis Turn 1 and managed to achieve 5800 Soviet aircraft casualties. It's partly luck but I can confirm the very useful advice provided elsewhere here about the first turn attacks.

First set your Air doctrine to 10% fly percentage (as advised by others ...no credit here).

You have to recce each airfield first. If you can't see them, cheat slightly and switch (F7) to bombing mode -- see the red highlights, then switch back to F5 and recce. Raises the detection level which, apparently, increases losses. (Can someone confirm?).

Then trust the AI to the bombing - with one exception below. I always get better results from the AI than from manual assignment. I bomb the two airfields around Talinn that you can't recce - you get to see what they have (err had) once you bomb them. March down the airfields towards the AGN front line one attack only per airfield. Then switch to as far east as you north of Smolensk and hit each airfield once in turn. note there's at least one with only a very small number of a/c - ignore this one. You finally reach the big airbases just east of the frontier. Then move to AGS. The first thing you must do is bomb Stanislav. It can only be reached, for some reason, by the aircraft at the LW bases in Rumania. Again, only bomb once. Hopefully it will be largely successful. Anything more than 30-40 aircraft left, hit it again. Then, and only then, switch to bombing the mmost easterly targets around Kiev, leaving the two to the south around Kirovograd. Move from east to west.

Eventually those long-range bombers from the very south will run out of capability. Now here's the funny thing: if you right click then on targets such as the Kirovograd field, you get 'no bombers available'. Shift-click and the Rumanian airforce is available. I bomb the field at Kishinev once, then switch to the far crimea (there's one near Kerch; three near Sevastapol). Bomb everything once, then move to Odessa. Then return and re-do Crimea and finally bomb Kishinev until you have nothing left.

Then return to AGN and AGC and inspect all targets - bomb those with the largest number of planes in turn until you have nothing left.

Disclaimer: depends on your overall view - do you want to keep more air power for Turn 1? if so, ease off. If you want to damage / destroy as much as possible on Turn 1? You might even get to 6000 with a little luck. Personally, I then never bomb airfields again but would be interested to hear if anyone can report on the value of such moves for later.

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 2:15:16 PM   
bdtj1815

 

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Rather like yourself I have been testing various methods of managing the Axis first turn and particularly airfield bombing.

For the sake of the test I first conducted recce missions manually bringing detection levels at all reachable SU airfields to Level 10. I then conducted the airfield attack missions using various methods. When conducting the attacks under player control I followed a similar method to you, and advice in various other threads, and from my own experience. In each case the results shown here are the average of doing each twice.

Situation at start of airfield attacks:
Ger: 3108 (2348) SU: 11214 (9219)

After AI managed attacks at default settings:
Ger: 3039 (2095) SU: 8180 (6328) SU losses: 3036

After player controlled attacks at default settings:
Ger: 2954 (1966) SU: 8179 (6219) SU losses: 3036! (and yes that was the real maths)

After player controlled attacks at 0% air doctrine and 100% airfield attack commitment:
Ger: 2945 (1754) SU: 5945 (4386) SU losses: 5274

It is a balance for the Axis player between a wish to destroy as many SU planes, or leave them damaged to be overrun by ground forces, and being prepared to accept a larger number of damaged planes that will require time to return to action.



< Message edited by bdtj1815 -- 3/9/2011 2:16:56 PM >

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 4:20:53 PM   
carnifex


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I usually get around 6000 SU losses with manual bombing and 0% required to fly.

Using manual bombing, it's important to deselect long range bombers like the HE 111 from short range strikes - those machines should be repeatedly bombing Kiev, not Lvov.

Also, use the Commanders report to identify bombers that have not flown much or at all, then select their bases as the staging base and launch attacks from there. If you let the AI pick the staging base, you might not get the option to fly certain groups.

I usually go from north to south, bombing every airfield until it has less than two dozen planes. If I have anything left after that, I reduce those as close to zero as I can.

I use everything for AF strikes, leaving almost nothing for Ground Support. Ground Support doesn't make a difference on turn 1 because it's all blow outs and exploitation - there are no "nuts" to crack where GS would make a difference.

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 6:03:16 PM   
CharonJr

 

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I basically agree, but in the south there are some hexes where ground support will be useful and personally I prefer to have some bombers left for them rather than destroying another 100 Soviet planes.

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 7:22:37 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Why do the numbers not match-up on these pop-up info screens? Are we talking about FOW here or ????




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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 8:24:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The mouseover display lists all ready planes per squadron, the lower display lists all planes in the hex (328, the number is also indicated in the mouseover display after the air base name)

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/9/2011 8:47:02 PM   
majeloz

 

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Thanks for the advice in return - and here I was thinking that I could trust the AI :). Damn, back to manual...

I didn't realise that setting the %age for airfield attack to 100% would have a difference...but it makes sense.

I am guessing that if you attack from long-range to short-range you might ameliorae some of the issues with the longer-range bombers wasting on the near attacks.



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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/10/2011 7:33:24 AM   
CharonJr

 

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Attacking long range first might lead to higher losses due to not having taken out the fighters at the bases on the way there, but I have never run any tests to confirm if this is really the case.

Has anybody taken a closer look at this?

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/10/2011 9:29:12 AM   
majeloz

 

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I've not tested it; I rarely see a lot of losses and mostly they are fighters. The long range bombers seem to be attacked by the fighters at the nearby (longrange) bases so I doubt it makes a difference.

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/10/2011 2:12:05 PM   
majeloz

 

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Update from Luftwaffe research team:

the careful testing I've been doing has paid off. A new opponent and my airfield bombardment caused 6649 lost aircraft on Turn 1 for 107 casualties. wow. I must have got lucky, to some extent, with the random factors but still, it was a productive start to the game which boosted my morale no end. I suspect my opponent is a very competent russian defender so it could all downhill from here.

Matt

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/11/2011 4:32:55 PM   
loricas

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CharonJr
I basically agree, but in the south there are some hexes where ground support will be useful and personally I prefer to have some bombers left for them rather than destroying another 100 Soviet planes.


if you want to preserve same groups for GS and strike the fighter AF first keeping the LR aircraft for long range strike, you can put in night mission: they don't fly.

i made ten test run using this procedure:
1) recon all the airfields to DL 10, manually selecting the starting base (don't forget to reselect after every missions) in order to reach AF out of range normally: in this way you can recon from the first base in Leningrad area to Zaporozdie (there are same rear base not on sight by default)
2)change required to fly to 0 and AF attack to 100
3) put to night fly all stuka, all the H-111 and rumanians level bombers
4)starting from south, in order to use romanian short ranges at full capacity, manually select the staging base, but not the groups involved, and strike AFs in fighter cover range
5)again starting from sud, selecting the staging base, i strike the AFs outside friendly fighter cover.
6)change to day H-111 and rumanian level and strike the rear area AFs, starting from fighter bases again, selecting the staging base,again from sud in order to use rumanian first
in this way (keeping the stukas for Ground support and making one Do17Z strike at port nord of Riga) i have, before start of land move, from 4816 (the worst) to 6006(the better) for 154 losses (30 H-111, 40 ju-88)in the worst case



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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/11/2011 8:26:31 PM   
James Ward

 

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Other than the extra VP's, is there a big benefit to destroying as many planes as you can on the first turn? Don't most people just hide the Red airforce in 1941 anyway?

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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/11/2011 11:48:31 PM   
Mynok


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Destroy them before they hide them.


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RE: Airfield attacks, Axis turn 1 - 3/12/2011 12:55:29 AM   
majeloz

 

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Morale advantage? (I mean for me, the human). I was stoked to see 6600 planes down the tubes.

But seriously -- one of the things that this game does well is to make everything matter, somewhere along the line, even if you can't actually work out the 'game' advantage. here's a couple though:

- destroying recon aircraft reduces the Soviets ability (somewhat) to spot what you are up to when playing with FOW

- bombers can be used for resupply even if not bombing

- air interdiction of movement might screw up your advances (don't know - in my games, the bombers are all toast)

- his fighters will take a toll of your ground support

I think the 'put them all in national reserve' strategy is, in part, a response to the massive crushing of the airforce normally conducted and the fact that airbases get overrun. I was going to say it's a game-focused strategy but, to be honest, it also seems realistic to me. Whether I do it as the Soviet player or not...I will have to wait until I am ready to play that role... still having too much fun on the western side of the board.

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