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Newbie questions: Air Units

 
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Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 2:49:57 AM   
NickWright

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 3/11/2009
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Greetings, all. I have a couple of newbie questions about air units, as I'm near the start of my first GC, playing against the Japan AI. I'd be very grateful for any pointers you could offer; my questions probably have obvious answers, which highlights how little I know at this point. So, my questions are as follows.

1) Thinking exclusively about LBA early in the war for the moment, which aircraft(s) are well suited to the following roles:
a) ASW
b) Naval bombing over a couple of hexes range
c) Naval bombing at a distance (if any)
d) Naval recon
e) Escorting bombers
f) CAP over allied bases
g) Bombing LCUs
h) Bombing facilities (ports, airfields, industry)

I appreciate there could be a fair amount of "it depends" to those roles, but given the assumption that we've got large airfields, lots of supply and suitable support, what's the default choices, given what's available in the theatre at the time.

2) Any overperformers/underachievers I should take note of? Of which aircraft do you always wish you had more available?

3) Are there any parts of the theatre that benefit in particular from the presence of certain aircraft types? So I'm thinking, long range patrol aircraft in the various island groups or supply transports in Burma/Bangladesh, for example. I ask, so I know what units I want to send where, which ones to hold back for later and so on. Apologies if this last one is a bit nebulous.

Thanks in advance for any comments. Feel free to assume I'm clueless when making your responses!




Post #: 1
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 3:08:22 AM   
DOCUP


Posts: 2348
Joined: 7/7/2010
Status: offline
Welcome to the game Nick

Start training your pilots early like yesterday. Army, Navy, Marines, British, Ausie etc. Use your crappy and restricted squadrons to train with.

a)  PBYs other float planes, bombers and such
b,c) 4Es, 2Es, dive bombers, Torp bombers if no torp are around
d)  PBYs, 4E, 2E bombers, dive bombers, torp bombers
e) Any fighter will do to its max range so look at that
f)  Any fighter you have at your disposal
g)  4E, 2E, attack bombers, dive bomber, fighter bombers etc
h) Bombers 4Es and 2Es

I'm not one of the experts on the game I may be corrected but thats the way I use them.  Allied planes suck at the begining of the war.  So don't expect much from them againist the better Japanese planes.  Altitude is king as well as numbers for fighters. 

doc

(in reply to NickWright)
Post #: 2
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 3:22:23 AM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 3633
Joined: 9/28/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: NickWright

Greetings, all. I have a couple of newbie questions about air units, as I'm near the start of my first GC, playing against the Japan AI. I'd be very grateful for any pointers you could offer; my questions probably have obvious answers, which highlights how little I know at this point. So, my questions are as follows.

1) Thinking exclusively about LBA early in the war for the moment, which aircraft(s) are well suited to the following roles:
a) ASW

For both ASW and Naval Search your best planes are PA (Patrol) obviously and any level bombers equipped with radar.

b) Naval bombing over a couple of hexes range

Dive and Torpedo bombers. But the pilots need to highly trained in the relevant skills and in the case of the dive bombers, the planes set to a diving altitude (10k' to 14k')

c) Naval bombing at a distance (if any)

Obviously the preceding planes would apply equally here (if they have the range) but for longer range operations medium bombers equipped torpedoes are excellent. Much later when you get attack bombers and have suitably trained pilots, you can use skip bomber tactics. Otherwise, level bombers are misued in anti-ship operations.

d) Naval recon

See (a) above. Heavy bombers and recon aircraft, with their great range are also of value. However little benefit is derived from having naval search out beyond 12-14 hexes.

e) Escorting bombers

The obvious, fighters. However note that escorting fighters are disadvantaged in combat compared to fighters on CAP. Also some much prefer to use fighter sweeps but that has it's own pitfalls, particularly for a new player who lacks any experience in coordinating air operations.

f) CAP over allied bases

Fighters. Pay careful attention to maneouvre bands. You may need to stagger your CAP at different altitudes.

g) Bombing LCUs

You remember all those level bombers I advised against using them in (c) above, this is where they should be used.

h) Bombing facilities (ports, airfields, industry)

Same as in (g).

I appreciate there could be a fair amount of "it depends" to those roles, but given the assumption that we've got large airfields, lots of supply and suitable support, what's the default choices, given what's available in the theatre at the time.

2) Any overperformers/underachievers I should take note of? Of which aircraft do you always wish you had more available?

For the Allied player, the answer is all. Your aircraft production is fixed, Japan's is not. Operational losses will be heavy for as long as your planes are being flown by pilots with <50 experience. As experienced is gained and allied aircraft production is ramped up, the situation improves. In appropriate usage often see airframe shortages unnecesssarily magnified in Patrol and Transport planes.


3) Are there any parts of the theatre that benefit in particular from the presence of certain aircraft types? So I'm thinking, long range patrol aircraft in the various island groups or supply transports in Burma/Bangladesh, for example. I ask, so I know what units I want to send where, which ones to hold back for later and so on. Apologies if this last one is a bit nebulous.

This one can only be answered with, "depends". Just don't neglect your logistics, ensure you have adequate supply for air operations, adequate aviation support staff present, and the airfield can support the total number of aircraft/air units.

Thanks in advance for any comments. Feel free to assume I'm clueless when making your responses!







Alfred

(in reply to NickWright)
Post #: 3
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 5:38:23 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4526
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
Status: offline
Welcome and listen to Alfred. Hes our Encyclopedia.

Concerning c) I have a slightly different POV which is similar to what DOCUP included in his list.

True, most level bombers do lack the accuracy or punch to perform as deadly as torp/dive/attack bombers.
But for sealane control I prefer my MB/HB units to train at least up to some skill level in NavB or LowN and NavS if it is possible.

You have to survive virtually without any attack/LR/torp mediums for about 1 1/2 - 2 years, and thats
the time where the IJN threat to supply lanes is biggest, and air coverage weakest.
Land attack is something HB/MBs will learn anyway. I prefer them to have at least the capability to convince an enemy
fleet that - lacking air protection - the current course is unwise. And this means I want an attack on a raider force to
generate hits, even if its only my good old B17 group attacking from 10k and doesn´t do much damage...

So my addendum to your answer would be: any medium/heavy that is not currently assigned a well defined different task.



NickWright, just a final suggestion: Please don´t forget that many hints here are based on opinions and personal taste. So if you get advices which
are contradictive on first glance, simply try to understand what the underlying reason could be. On many instances the reason is simple:
because playstiles are different and are supported by different tactical/strategic behaviour.

Have fun!

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 8/23/2011 5:40:30 AM >


_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 4
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 6:36:38 AM   
zzodr


Posts: 173
Joined: 6/24/2006
Status: offline
Among all the other good advice here, I would also recommend...

Setting the range to zero in air groups that are training. (helps fatigue/morale and to a lesser extent - op losses)
Don't overstack your base (overstack will have an * beside Airfield size.)
Have a Air HQ in the hex your LBA are in, (or at the least in command radius) and have the groups assigned to that HQ.
Have the base assigned to same HQ as your Air HQ (it will be able to support more groups if this is set)
You will need a Air HQ with torpedo ordnance in command radius for your torpedo bombers (you can buy them for 10 supply each in the Air HQ screen)
LRCAP your ships and troops when prudent.
Make sure the aircraft type you are operating has sufficient size airfield for the service rating/bombload, smaller airfields cannot support certain air missions.
(specifics are in the manual)

PDU (player defined upgrades) on as Allies gives you much more flexibility.. give your training sqns the old tired planes
and your veterans at the front the latest shiny planes.

Don't forget to have fun!


_____________________________


(in reply to LoBaron)
Post #: 5
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 3:32:09 PM   
dr.hal


Posts: 1968
Joined: 6/3/2006
Status: offline
Some very good advice here NickWright, and I do support that a lot of advise is based upon personal taste for how you want to conduct things. I would suggest you "play the field" of options until you think something is best. Don't forget to consider range, if going to extended range your impact is very restricted (and later with torpedo aircraft they can not carry that weapon in an extended range attack).

(in reply to zzodr)
Post #: 6
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 3:45:30 PM   
Andy Mac

 

Posts: 13791
Joined: 5/12/2004
From: Alexandria, Scotland
Status: offline
Do not underestimate the damage a medium air group can cause if trained in low ground and groand attack.

Naval attack is a priority yes but dont neglect a ground attack training.

CAS is VITAL and having trained pilots makes a huge difference

(in reply to dr.hal)
Post #: 7
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 3:47:06 PM   
Andy Mac

 

Posts: 13791
Joined: 5/12/2004
From: Alexandria, Scotland
Status: offline
There is a great temptation to train everything that moves for naval attack resist the temptation at least 30% of your USAAF and RAF Bomber Sqns should be training in ground attack from day 1 especially those killer mediums

(in reply to Andy Mac)
Post #: 8
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 7:27:20 PM   
NickWright

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 3/11/2009
Status: offline
Thanks for the responses so far - all very helpful. I have a further few questions that are bit more specific:

What is it that determines how effective a bomber is in a given role? So, for example, it's been pointed out that level bombers don't do as well against naval units as dive bombers. Is there an inherant accuracy bonus, or something like that? Is it shown on the interface anywhere?

What's the difference (in game) between light, medium and heavy level bombers? Are there differences outside the immediate obvious ones (e.g. Stores, defensive armament, operational range) that determine how well they do at a given task?

BTW, it's nice to see such an active forum =)

(in reply to Andy Mac)
Post #: 9
RE: Newbie questions: Air Units - 8/23/2011 8:04:00 PM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 3633
Joined: 9/28/2006
Status: offline
1. The effectiveness reflects the real world experience. Just as in real life radar is more effective at spotting ships than the Mk I eyeball, so it is in the game.

2. No, the game interface doesn't display effectiveness.

3. Easy to identify in game whether a plane is a heavy bomber, or medium bomber etc. Level bomber operations are impacted by the size of the airfield. Light bombers can fly without handicap from airfields sized 2, medium/attack/heavy bombers are handicapped if the airfield is not = (bomb load/1000).

If you expect to become comfortable with air operations, you will need to fully acquaint yourself with chapter 7 of the manual plus the pilot addendum documents introduced in an early patch.

Alfred

(in reply to NickWright)
Post #: 10
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