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Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations

 
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Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 2:56:38 AM   
composer99


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I figured I would try to come up with a more-or-less thorough list of things the AIO should consider when allocating available bombers to strategic bombing missions and/or building new bombers which are primarily strategic bombers.

Optional Rules
The first consideration is the optional rules which are in play. The thread which describes the optional rules in MWiF is here (some of the wording may be out of date).

I will list & briefly discuss the ways the optional rules affect strategic bombing, in order of the rule's ADG numbering.

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Synthetic Oil Plants
Synthetic oil plants themselves do not affect strategic bombers save through the mechanism of the oil optional rule if it is in play. They are legitimate targets for bombing raids (perhaps even preferential targets given that they cost a lot of bps to build and, if destroyed, are returned to the force pool and must be re-built).

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Bounce Combat
Bounce combat makes strategic bombing more risky overall, but particularly makes strategic bombing raids without friendly FTR much more hazardous.

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V-Weapons/A-Bombs
This rule does not affect strategic bombing much, apart from giving the German & US players some additional tools in their strategic bombing toolkits late in the war (the might of the A-bomb being constrained by the need to use a LND4 to carry it to its target, and the versatility & cheapness of the V-weapon constrained by its weakness).

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Pilots
Pilots makes strategic bomber production more feasible by uncoupling the production cost of aircrews from that of the bombers themselves. It also makes losses more palatable as approximately half of unit destruction results now allow the pilot to survive, reducing the production hit for each loss.

The potential drawback is that an additional layer of decision-making is required during reinforcements as the AIO has to decide if it is worth allocating available pilots to strategic bombers.

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Factory Construction & Destruction
This rule makes strategic bombing more valuable; destroying enemy factories being a very useful way to reduce enemy production (the factory being permanently useless until 4 bp are spent to repair it).

This is slightly counterbalanced by the ability of major powers to rail move home country (blue) factories within their home country if they have suffered such destruction.

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Saving Build Points/Oil
This rule makes strategic bombing more valuable, as it often increases the 'target profile' of target hexes, or turns hexes which might not have been potential targets into targets (on account of storing saved bps or oil).

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Carpet Bombing
This rule makes having strategic bombers in larger numbers more valuable by giving them more versatility/utility (although it may reduce the value of performing strategic bombing raids in favour of carpet bombing).

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Variable Reorganization
This makes having large numbers of strategic bombers less valuable on one hand and yet more necessary on the other; the extra reorganization cost reduces the raid output per bomber as HQs allocated to reorganizing strategic bombers are no longer as efficient.

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Oil
This rule makes oil resources, saved oil & synthetic oil plants more valuable targets; not only do suppressing or destroying them reduce enemy production, it also reduces the operability of enemy units.

On the other hand, it also makes a committed strategic bombing campaign (of whatever size) more expensive as oil must now be spent to reorganize units, particularly if HQs are used often to reorganize bombers.

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Night Missions
Night missions improve bomber survivability at the expense of bombing effectiveness, in the absence of enemy night fighter units. Survivability is improved since the defending side in air combats rolls first; meaning the bombing side has an increased chance of being able to clear through a bomber (and immune to bounce combats in the case of single-bomber missions if such occurs if that rule is in play).

Effectiveness is of course decreased as a result of the halving of bombing factors.

Night missions also stretch FTR defences in the case of dual day/night missions to the same hex as the defending side must choose which mission to intercept (or commit extra FTR to intercept both).

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Twin-Engine Fighters
Twin-Engine fighter rules do not change the way bombers are allocated or produced in the context of strategic bombing; they do affect strategic bombing campaigns with regards to the kinds of FTR best allocated to accompany or defend against bombing raids.

_____________________________

~ Composer99
Post #: 1
RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 3:10:22 AM   
composer99


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More on strategic bombing considerations, which I will split in the following posts into targetting considerations (e.g. which hexes to target), allocation considerations (how many bombers & fighters to allocate to strat bombing) and production considerations (how much to spend on heavy bombers & when).

Targetting Considerations
The main thing to consider for targetting considerations is the prioritization of targets. The other two general elements of targetting is concentration vs. dispersal of attacking bombers, and day/night raid mix. I will not here offer any attempt to quantify these considerations, although I dare say the AIO will have to use combat values or some other scale to assess targetting.

Each potential target hex, on this view, would have a value assigned to it by the AIO, and the targets chosen would be those with the highest value based on the below considerations.

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Target Hex Prioritization
The bombing side should favour:
- Oil hexes, synth oil, & saved oil if the target side is resource-limited or the oil rule is in play or both.
- Factories if the target side is factory-limited.
- Target hexes which will result in more damage (e.g. those with more factories and/or more saved oil/bps).
- Target hexes which the bombing side can "clear out" (e.g. suppress all production and destroy all saved oil/bps) over the course of the turn.
- Target hexes in range of friendly escort or interception.
- Target hexes in range of bombers without requiring the use of extended range.

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Concentration vs Disperal
On the matter of whether to launch multiple raids with few bombers, or a few raids with several bombers, the considerations to account for are:
- Number of available bombers.
- Number of available air missions.
- Number of available target hexes.
- Defensive coverage provided by enemy fighters.
- Target prioritization as described above.
- The ablility of the bombing side to permanently destroy factories or oil.

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Day vs Night (or Both)
On the matter of whether to target a hex with a day, night, or combined raid (assuming the Night Missions optional is in play), the considerations are:
- Presence of enemy fighters, with special attention to day/night fighters & twin-engine fighters.
- Potential participation of friendly fighters, with special attention to day/night fighters & twin-engine fighters.
- Expected air combat column if an air combat occurs.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 2
RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 3:27:24 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
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From: Ottawa, Canada
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Allocation Considerations
I see considerations of force allocation to strategic bombing being to do with deciding (1) whether to commit available bombers to strategic raiding vs. other air missions vs. redeployment to other theatres, (2) whether to commit fighters to take part as well, and (3) the extent of a threat-in-being to retain to tie down enemy defences.

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Bomber Allocation
Given any quantity of bombers capable of performing strategic bombing (that is, air units possessing strategic bombing factors in range of potential targets), the bombing side has to take into consideration the following when deciding which units to allocate to bombing:
- The units' other air unit factors (e.g. air combat factors for potential fighter-bombers, tactical or naval bombing factors for fighter-bombers as well as CVP, NAV, and other LND with strategic factors).
- The bombing side's army or navy support requirements in theatre.
- The bombing side's defensive support requirements in theatre.
- The bombing side's bomber requirements in other theatres.
- The saturation of strategic bombers in theatre vs other theatres.
- The scarcity or plentitude of targets in theatre vs other theatres.
- The calculated future effects on the defending side's production and availability of units from bombing.

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Fighter Allocation
Given any quantity of fighters in range to escort or intercept strategic air raids, the bombing side has to take into consideration the following:
- Fighter requirements in other theatres.
- Local fighter requirements outside of strategic bombing (e.g. escorting/interception for other air missions or to defend against enemy air missions).
- Air combat factors of bombers (higher overall air combat factors reduces required friendly fighter allocation).
- Extent and combat effectiveness of enemy fighter coverage.

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Threatening Bombing
As several of the AIO threads have suggested, simply having some strategic bombers in position to attack targets can compel opponents to have fighters allocated to defending against them, hopefully at the expense of badly-needed fighter cover elsewhere. The considerations to whether to have a bombing threat-in-being and how much of it to have are:
- Timing (the earlier in the turn, the more important a larger threat-in-being is).
- Weather (bad weather turns reduce the usefulness of a threat-in-being, and it may be better to "shoot the bolt" during rare good weather impulses in the context of bad weather turns).
- Extent of enemy resource allocation to defend against raids.
- The credibility of the threat. For this consideration, the bombing side has to at least bomb with available bombers wherever the defending side leaves gaps in order to pose a credible bombing threat, and bomb into the teeth of fighter cover if air superiority at the point of contact can be managed in order to force the defending side to consider scaling up air defence at the expense of other fighter requirements.
- The availability & layout of targets. The more targets there are and the more spread out they are, the more useful a bombing threat-in-being is as it requires more defensive coverage to defend all the potential targets.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 3:35:23 AM   
composer99


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Production Considerations

Whether or not to build bombers suitable for strategic bombing (usually LND4) depends on the defensive & offensive considerations for the next 3-4 turns.

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Defensive Considerations
- What is the threat of a major enemy attack on the bombing side's territory over the next 3-4 turns (e.g. Sealion or Barbarossa). The greater the threat, the less priority strategic bombing units have.
- What is the threat of a tactical raid to disrupt/destroy bombers or onto a major port with lots of naval units? The greater the threat, the less priority strategic bombing units have.
- What is the threat of enemy strategic warfare (either enemy's own air raids, or a marine tonnage war)?
- What are the bombing side's defensive requirements in other theatres of war?

-----
Offensive Considerations
- What are the bombing side's material requirements for planned offensive operations in the next 3-4 turns? The more other material requirements, the less priority to strategic bombing.
- What is the versatility of the extant bomber force and the bombers in the force pools? Better versatility means more strategic bombing priority.
- What is the size of the extant bomber force? While more bombers are better than fewer, there is probably a number over which dimishing returns begin to take effect making further strategic bomber production increasingly less valuable.
- What is the strength of the enemy's forces where the bombing side is undertaking other offensive operations?*

(*) This actually makes bombing both more and less important. More important because reducing future enemy reinforcements and unit density is the result of strategic bombing; less important because other bombers or uses for extant bombers may be higher-priority.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 3:36:43 AM   
composer99


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I make no claim that the above is sufficiently thorough, though I think it is an adequate starting point for the AIO to make decisions about strategic bombing at the target hex, area of operations, regional, and theatre levels.

I will post a link to this thread in the sticky AIO link aggregate.

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 4:11:07 AM   
composer99


Posts: 2133
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I almost forgot to include a summary of probablities for strategic bombing & air combat which could be helpful.

Strategic Bombing Probabilities (in %)
Intercepted (no bonus to strategic raid die roll)
1 factor: 30% 1 (30% overall)
2-3: 30% 1, 10% 2 (40% overall)
4-6: 30% 1, 20% 2 (50% overall)
7-9: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3 (60% overall)
10-13: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3* (70% overall)
14-18: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4* (80% overall)
19-24: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4*, 10% 4** (90% overall)
25+: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4*, 10% 4**, 10% 5** (100% overall)

Not Intercepted (bonus to strategic raid die roll)
1 factor: 30% 1, 10% 2 (40% overall)
2-3: 30% 1, 20% 2 (50% overall)
4-6: 30% 1, 20% 2, 10% 3 (60% overall)
7-9: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3* (70% overall)
10-13: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4* (80% overall)
14-18: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4*, 10% 4** (90% overall)
19-24: 20% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4*, 10% 4**, 10% 5** (100% overall)
25+: 10% 1, 20% 2, 20% 3, 10% 3*, 10% 4*, 10% 4**, 10% 5**, 10% 5*** (100% overall)

Numbers are amount of pp lost or oil resources suppressed; * are number of destruction results.

Air Combat Probabilities (in %)
Probabilities are expressed in a list by air combat column (-9; -7,8; -5,6; -3,4; -2; -1; 0; +1; +2,3; +4,5; +6,7; +8)

Percentage Probabilities Broken Down by Result
AX: --; 1; 2; 4; 6; 6; 9; 12; 16; 20; 25; 30
DX: 2; 5; 7; 8; 10; 14; 16; 18; 20; 22; 24; 26
AA: 4; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16
DA: 6; 8; 14; 16; 17; 19; 20; 14; 15; 16; 8; 9
--: 8; 10; 12; 13; 14; 15; 8; 16; 8; 9; 9; 9
AC: 29; 26; 22; 23; 25; 17; 17; 9; 18; 9; 19; 10
DC: 51; 44; 36; 28; 19; 19; 19; 19; 10; 10; --; --

Percentage Probabilities of Special Results
Pilot Dies on X: 1; 3; 6; 6; 10; 10; 15; 15; 21; 21; 28; 28
Pilot Lives on X: 1; 3; 3; 6; 6; 10; 10; 15; 15; 21; 21; 28
Escorted Bounce: 51; 44; 26; 28; 19; 19; 19; 19; 10; 10; --; --
Unescorted Bounce: 80; 70; 58; 51; 44; 36; 36; 28; 28; 19; 19; 10

_____________________________

~ Composer99

(in reply to composer99)
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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 9:42:36 AM   
Red Prince


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This is absolutely brilliant!

I don't know how to integrate this properly into what you wrote, but you might add to Production Considerations, under Offensive Requirements, something regarding the expected duration of use newly built bombers will have. For example, in '39 & '40 for the CW & US, and between the fall of France & Barbarossa for the Axis, there is less demand on production for other units because there isn't a lot to do immediately (which you've touched on), but it also is an era during which any LND produced will remain a threat for years, while those produced later have substantially less time to be a threat.

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/23/2011 2:27:44 PM   
peskpesk


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To get people started on a general criteria for when to perform strategic bombing I made this simple flow chart. But people the important thing is the logic for the AIO not my bad flow chart skills. Any suggestions on imporvements? (Yes there are!)








Attachment (1)

< Message edited by peskpesk -- 8/23/2011 2:48:48 PM >


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RE: Strategic Bombing AIO Considerations - 8/25/2011 8:32:53 PM   
Edfactor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince
For example, in '39 & '40 for the CW & US, and between the fall of France & Barbarossa for the Axis, there is less demand on production for other units because there isn't a lot to do immediately (which you've touched on), but it also is an era during which any LND produced will remain a threat for years, while those produced later have substantially less time to be a threat.



Actually the Germans are at this point build lots of armor and have very little excess production, unless they are going to put off barbarosa till 42' and planning on attacking spain/egypt or doing a sealion.

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