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how to use AA efficiently?

 
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how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 12:03:06 AM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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What is up with AA? It just doesn't seem very effective. In order to shoot down planes, you need a huge stack of them that really isn't worth the cost. What's the point? Shouldn't they be either improved or reduced in price? Its so bad that when I play opponents, I hunt their AA with my divebombers, and even if they have a huge stack I still win. Its just ridiculous, and the AA is totally useless against Strategic bombers.
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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 12:12:20 AM   
Ande

 

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If you have a few AA guns, you'll severly impede the incoming aircraft ability to do anything meaning you won't loose to much in the attack. If you want to actually defeat the attack you should add some defencive fighters. The point of using AA is that you could use only a few fighters to fend off large attacks.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 12:16:05 AM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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I guess I don't know how the numbers work, I've modded the price down 40%, maybe that was excessive, but I just played a game in which my 10 strat bombers were wrecking havoc against cities defended by stacks of 10 or more flak. Perhaps my opponent needed more fighters with that, I don't know. I'd like to read some details on how the numbers work out.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 1:47:06 AM   
Zaratoughda


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Flak might be more effective against dive bombers I don't know. Yeah, you could check the stats for both and determine if this is so.

But, I would think you would need fighters to ward off strat bomber attacks.

Zaratoughda

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 2:36:34 AM   
Webizen


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If you ask me, I wonder if flak is too effective, especially if upgraded to level 3. As stated above, it should never be able to totally ward off air attack. That just wouldn't have the correct feel. Your own air force combined with some flak is the ticket. Vic stated in his ATG College article that dive bombers are your best bet to attack and destroy flak units.


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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 3:01:05 AM   
Iron Knight


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This seems weird to me as well. I would think a heavy AA gun like an 88 or so would work like the current flak (anti-strategic bomber, not a killer but a disrupter) but there seems to be a missing STF for lighter guns used against divebombers that would effectively protect units its in.

I tried a few games restricting myself to flak only and found that I had to have something else. While it makes since that this would fail with the current STF's it feels like we are missing any non-flak ground AA. For my mod at least I have created a close air support type so some units would be better against dive bombers than Strat's and vice versa. I don't think there were too many cruisers that could take out a high level bomber.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 3:11:19 PM   
Josh

 

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Yes ground AA is missing... somewhat. It's covered now by the current generic Flak, that's supposed to shoot down/ ward off high flying planes and low flying divebombers. The Germans had a few, quite effective ones too, effective too against soft targets. Personally I find them in the game very effective. Yes they may not shoot down lots of planes (at low techlevels and low exp.) but 10-20 behind your lines, level II-III and blammo, their goes your opponents airforce. So IMHO they are worth their money.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 7:55:29 PM   
british exil


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Maybe AA should distrupt an enemy attack, break off after maybe 5 combat rounds but changing the cost for a Strat bombing raid to 10. 10 combat rounds would in reality be worth only 5. Losses would be reduced. But the bomber command would have to think twice about ordering bombing raids to highly defended hexes.

Dive bombers need to attack lower, losses should be higher or the damage done to the planes higher, reduced AP for the nex round. Harder to programm I think.

Why build stacks of Flak, when the rewards are not high enough? I've no idea how high the losses of the US Airforce were in WWII. Losses through enemy fighters compared with Flak. But I guess someone in the forum does and will post the info.

Then we can see if the game does mirror the reality.

Mat

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 8:10:11 PM   
Josh

 

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US Airforce losses almost till the end were horrendous, sometimes up to 30% per bomberflight. It was so bad that one tour of duty (25 sorties?) gave a crewmember a 25% chance of survival. Mainly because US airdoctrine focussed on daylight bombing. The English did the nighttime bombing. I don't know which part was Flak and which part Fighter losses though. The numbers I mentioned may not be right, but it was bad, that's for sure.
So it looks as if the game-engine reflects this. Attacking a Flak and Fighter covered hex will wreak havoc on your bomberforces.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/5/2011 9:24:43 PM   
phatkarp


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In my experience as an attacker, flak almost always results in a drastic reduction in effectiveness, but causes only a few casualties.  It can also take a decent bite out of the readiness of attacking units.  I've never had the specific situation of flak opposing such a large stack of strat bombers, however.  I've attacked into both flak and fighters, with terrible results.

I think flak is fine as-is.  It's a useful tool: it busts up air attacks, it can be manufactured at gun factories, can be towed by horses, and is even decent as ground defense. 

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/6/2011 6:18:32 PM   
mgaffn1

 

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Based on recent games I've played, AA guns seem to be more effective in ATGold than they were in the original AT. I use them much more now than I did with the old game. Not a substitute for air supremacy, but a good stop gap in lieu of limited oil resources or production limitations.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/13/2011 4:22:57 PM   
all5n


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IMO flak is fine.

Since the addition of oil and raw resources, the appearance of super-stacks of air units have disappeared (with the exception of the AI, which is a different issue).  A single mission of a stack of 20 planes will really eat into your oil reserves.  I have noticed therefore that stacks of 2-6 are much more prevalent.

4 Flak can really break up an attack of that size, and every once in a while you get lucky and take one out.

Therefore, flak is much more effective now, especially Flak III and IV with the added range.  Flak III is a fairly high priority for research in any game i play.  Its become a more important part of the game in ATG than it was in AT.

So in general i think its balanced.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/13/2011 7:07:03 PM   
Iron Knight


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I had several 1v1 victories where I had a stack of 10 and two stacks of 6 strategic Bomber II's around turns 4-5, on a small map. Air power can win the day almost alone on small maps. I think Flak in its current state works well, but I think either it needs to be a little cheaper, deadlier, or reseach cheaper.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/13/2011 7:30:17 PM   
Josh

 

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@ Ironknight; That's not a "tankrush" but  "bomberrush"!  Guess you opponents never saw *that* coming their way. Usually I have a few counters of Inf by that time LOL. Then again I'm a slow player.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/14/2011 2:09:33 AM   
Iron Knight


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Honestly I thought I was slow too (in general). I was kind of caught off guard by my success. Then after using it I wanted to see if I could fight it by producing flak and ground units to overwhelm the other player that build large airgroups. Strategic bombers go a long way for how good they are and after a few rounds (I killed 2-4 Strategic Bombers in 17 turns with Flak III for the latter half) my number of ground units in the field where far less than my opponent's. The only way to defend against them is air. It seems that is the only viable option in the long run.

< Message edited by Iron Knight -- 7/14/2011 2:11:21 AM >


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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/14/2011 9:00:26 AM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iron Knight

Honestly I thought I was slow too (in general). I was kind of caught off guard by my success. Then after using it I wanted to see if I could fight it by producing flak and ground units to overwhelm the other player that build large airgroups. Strategic bombers go a long way for how good they are and after a few rounds (I killed 2-4 Strategic Bombers in 17 turns with Flak III for the latter half) my number of ground units in the field where far less than my opponent's. The only way to defend against them is air. It seems that is the only viable option in the long run.


A combination of fighter air defense and flak will do well since the flak will cause readiness loss to the attackers which in turn makes it easier for your fighters to do dammage.

best,
Vic


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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/14/2011 3:41:23 PM   
phatkarp


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I suspect that airpower is magnified on small maps, where one airstack can be nearly omnipresent.  

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/14/2011 7:51:11 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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I think many changes to the old AT game were in response to the "mega air stack" tactic previously used. In particular, AAA improvement, oil consumption and weather have all put real limits on the use of aircraft as the primary offensive weapon of choice.

Unfortunately, the AI doesn't seem to "get it" very well when it's faced against an opponnet that uses aircraft, it should react to try and recaptureair superiority or parity and make that it's primary goal instead of pouring out the useless stuff it usually decides upon.



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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/20/2011 5:10:02 AM   
Falkon

 

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Playing my first game, me vs AI on small random map. It looks like I'm around 32 turns in. I've captured most of the map and seized a good defensible line at a narrow point, leaving him with only his capital, one other city, and a bunch of oilfields and factories. Definitely winning, but getting hammered by vast quantities of aircraft, making it hard to sustain the offensive securely. I've built about 60 flak total, and while they may have reduced the effects of enemy air attacks, they haven't kept me from getting ripped up by airstrikes (which have caused a good portion of my casualties). I've killed 60 of their aircraft total, lost 66 of my own, and have about 40 left. He sends stacks of up to 30+ aircraft to attack at a time and appears to have 120+ left for offensive operations (at least, that's how many showed up in attacks during the replay of the last turn). When I do an airstrike, a massive cloud of fighters intercepts and just tears my aircraft (bombers and escorts alike) apart.

From what I read in the rules, stacking limits should penalize large numbers of aircraft on one airfield or flying in one attack. So I've been using small units (10 fighters for interception, 6 bombers with 8 fighters for strikes). But experience so far tells me that small numbers get torn to shreds by the enemy's massive numbers, and are ineffective on defense. Do I need large stacks of highly-researched flak, or should I just ignore the rules and use massive fighter stacks, or am I misunderstanding something? Not that I don't like a challenge, but I'm a little confused by the discrepancy between what the rules suggest and what actually seems to be successful.

Edit:
I see that the blog says "With the release of ATG v2.06 a new airfield stacking rule is also in effect.", but my copy's main menu screen says v205. However, check for updates says I already have the most recent version installed. More confusion.


< Message edited by Falkon -- 7/20/2011 5:15:18 AM >

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/20/2011 8:05:09 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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edit, weird cross post.

< Message edited by Jeffrey H. -- 7/21/2011 3:14:16 AM >


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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/20/2011 8:30:23 PM   
Josh

 

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AI airforces can  be a pain in the @$$, if it keeps spamming me with lots and lots of planes I keep spamming with Flak, in the end the AI *will* lose appetite. I make units of ten Flak each and place them all over the map, each hex one "10-Flak" unit. Not much need for transport, because your approach will be painfully slow; you have to cover your forces with Flak each hex all the way (at least lvl II, preferably higher). Yes fighters are fancier but they eat up oil and supply, the AI has a major advantage there.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/24/2011 1:56:44 AM   
Falkon

 

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Just to followup, as my flak and fighters gained experience, they gradually started taking a small toll on the enemy aircraft. I never got air superiority, and even my final airstrikes on their capital were a miserable failure, but their airstrikes gradually got fewer and less effective throughout the game.

After retrenching for a couple of turns, my forces drove forth and started capturing their aircraft factories, which had a big effect. Also helped that I learned to expect a certain number of casualties from their airstrikes each turn and prepare replacements dedicated to responding. Seems the best way to beat AI air was ground forces rolling in and blowing them on the runway. Had a long line of militia holding the flanks and keeping the supply lines open.

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RE: how to use AA efficiently? - 7/24/2011 11:30:14 AM   
Josh

 

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I should be very carefull with airstrikes on the capital, it can cripple your airforce because of the Flak and fighters. I tend to use long range Arty to really soften them up, they rule :-)

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