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Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 2:29:57 AM   
zuluhour


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We have two house rules on bombing.
1.) No 4E below 10M
2.) No night 2E or 4E below 10M

Im watching TV and I see Curtis LeMay (pardon spelling) sending in B29s at 5M at night.

Question for Vets (I have seen this hashed in some threads but not to my satisfaction)
Does the game engine provide unrealistic results at low level for 4Es? (ergo good house rule)
Does the game engine provide unrealistic results for low level night for 2E and 4E?

ps. I "oops" sent a small packet of B17s on 7 thousand foot daylight raid and they actually hit something, and I felt guilty!
Interesting enough I sent P40s on a 24000 bombing mission, which they refused to fly.
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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 2:39:01 AM   
zuluhour


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I should probably add, one of my favorite songs is "I Can't Get No" and I am very curious as to the JFBs attitude towards the B17s in the game in general. I actually have a B17 with three kills and 6% bombing accuracy.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 3:28:29 AM   
ADB123

 

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Why hamstring yourself? Is you opponent splitting up the KB into smaller TFs and sending them to different locations, or is he keeping it together in a Death Star or two? In 1942 and much of 1943 your 4Es are the only offensive weapons that you have that can come anywhere close to the power of the Japanese CVs when they are clumped together.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

1 - flying bombers in at less than 8K feet against larger enemy bases may run you into Barrage Balloons which will cause you all sort of bomber damage and losses
2 - flying bombers at less than 6K feet against anything with any AA capability will also cause you all sorts of grief
3 - it's hard keeping 4Es flying regularly and if you clump them all together in one or two places your opponent can counter you by simply operating elsewhere or building multiple air bases.
4 - You really, REALLY don't want to fly 4Es in 1942 and early 1943 against 150 to 200 fighters in one base at long range.

And I play both an Allied pbem and a couple of Japanese pbems. The only thing that I don't like as the Japanese player is if my opponent flies 4Es at 100 feet on Naval attacks in 1941 and 1942. Even B-17Ds can put the KB out of action in a turn or two doing that.

And yes, a Japanese player can wear down 4E attacks with some care and effort, and the Allied player never has enough 4Es in 1942 and early 1943.

Good luck -


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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 3:34:50 AM   
zuluhour


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I appreciate the feedback. From a strictly historic perspective are there any easily found references on the use of ie. alts of the B17s in the Pacific? I see when LeMay took charge he wanted results, lots of dead people and fast. It looks as though by late '44 we would try anything. Curious what doctrine was followed early.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 6:27:36 AM   
trhinz

 

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Zuluhour raised this topic with me in an e-mail. I am replying in the forum because the research I did may be useful to others.

A review of several sources suggests that the daytime 10,000 ft limitation is unsound historically. In "Shattered Sword" Parshall & Tully state that at Midway the initial B-17 attack on the troop transports was flown at 8,000-12,000 ft (p106). The first B-17 attack on the carriers was conducted at 20,000 ft (p178), but the second was done at 3,600 ft because the planes didn't have enough fuel to climb higher (p329)!

At the Battle of Bismarck Sea in 1943, according to Bergerud in "Fire in the Sky", B-17s attacked the Japanese supply convoy from 6,000-8,000 ft. (p590). Bergerud also notes that the 43d Bomb Group used B-17s for low level night anti-shipping missions at 2,000 ft and under in 1943 (p589 & 593).

I found little on night attcks against airfields, other than a report by a B-17 crew member of a single plane night attack on Rabaul at 500 ft in Bergerud's book (p541)!

The foregoing probably warrants jettisoning the day time altitude restriction. As for night operations, given the apparent consensus of forum members that the game does not handicap these in a realistic fashion, I think the night rule should continue.


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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/9/2011 10:51:37 AM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: zuluhour
Does the game engine provide unrealistic results at low level for 4Es? (ergo good house rule)
Does the game engine provide unrealistic results for low level night for 2E and 4E?


Yes to both for 4eng (obviousely also highly dependent on DL and pilot skill).

Independent on the current discussions exaggerating the issue by some orders of magnitude
some HRs easily take care of the situation.

When starting a new PBEM I would currently add the following HRs:
- Night attacks only @ >=10k and 50% rest, targets set dependent on moon
- No 4eng naval attacks below 10
- No 4eng ground attacks below 10k

2engs are ok IMO, although above certain skill levels the results can be off if other conditions
are favourable for the attacker as well. This shouldn´t need a HR though. A good 2 eng LNAV unit
will be equally dangerous as a IJN crack unit flying Betties, so this equals out quite ok.

_____________________________


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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 1:54:55 PM   
dr.hal


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I think the 10K rule for daytime is way too restrictive and unrealistic...and in my play I've not seen the results to be unsound. Also, heavy bombers are a lot more versatile than most folks think. As was discussed in another thread, the B-24 was capable of "dive bombing"..... Hal

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 3:19:57 PM   
witpqs


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I agree those altitudes are unreasonable. I very, very rarely set 4EB below 10,000ft but I think it is realistic against known soft targets.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 3:57:05 PM   
Chickenboy


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I must say that my opponent has been awesome in his restraint and adherence towards moderation with Allied LBA:

1. Nighttime bombing has been restricted to one (smallish) unit per theatre. It's an annoyance to me (as it was IRL), but it's not a game breaker. He has never attempted large scale 4EB night bombing against an airfield of mine, even though he 'could have' based upon the game engine. It (large scale night bombing) was unrealistic then as it is in the game, and he has resisted this impulse.

2. I do not have a problem with NavB trained 4EB or 2EB attempting Naval attack from any altitude. By mid-late war this was being (regularly) done in the war, so I've got no beef with his doing this. He has shown restraint to this point-another credit to his gameplay.

IRL, I doubt that most IJAAF 2EBs were trained extensively on LowNav (not to mention ASW), as mine are and have been. I haven't heard a squeak out of him regarding my training along these lines, so I've got no beef with him training his Allied air commands as he sees fit.

3. He mixes his attack altitudes against airfields well. I could see the Allied air commanders trying out different altitudes and experimenting with them during the course of the war (witness Lamay's change in approach to strat. bombing versus his predecessor-late in the war). Sure, 2EB or 4EB against flak-defended targets will take more OPS losses: that's his choice to make.

So, again, I have an example of where a conscientiously restrained Allied player obviates the need for HRs or work arounds. Others should be so fortunate as to have this sort of partner.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 4:11:50 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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I restrict my night bombing to the RAF squadrons that are equipped with Lancasters and Wellingtons whose in game portrait shows the black underside, but I don't have any altitude restrictions on these (not that I use them very often).

I have restricted my allied 4E naval bombing to 10,000' or above, but have been considering allowing the USN PB4Y squadrons to use a lower altitude (based on the theory that they were trained for such).

Keep in mind that any american level bomber attacking at an altitude below 7000' forgoes the advantage of the Norden bombsight, so I generally do not conduct bombing attacks with these aircraft below this altitude.


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fair winds,
Brad

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 4:16:40 PM   
Chickenboy


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Was the Norden used in the LowNav Allied shipping attacks? I always that much of that was 'dead reckoning' or hard-fought experience, moreso than bomb sight telemetry data.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/10/2011 11:21:45 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Was the Norden used in the LowNav Allied shipping attacks? I always that much of that was 'dead reckoning' or hard-fought experience, moreso than bomb sight telemetry data.



I think that straffers such as the gun equipped B25s had no bombsights as the nose section was filled with iorn and lead. The pilots had a gunsight but I think that was about it. I am not sure about navy bombers but doubt they really flew high enough to ever use the norden. Perhaps they had a simpler sight but I have to defer to someone who knows.

In game non-attack bombers below 6,000 feet only use half a bombload and incur higher fatigue when attacking low-possibly causing more OP losses. That said, my tests showed that it is worth sending them low vs light shipping and land targets that have little AA protection as even with the reduced bombload the results are better. However, vs well armed warships you might get a hit or two more at 1,000 feet but will get knocked about by AA fire. Straffers will suppress naval AA and it looks like they are now suppressing land AA as well (god bless the betas) However vs heavily armed CAs BBs and such, straffing is dangerous.

In our game Ark and I limit naval attacks by 4Es to 10,000 feet and higher with only the navy bombers allowed to attack lower and only unit one per base. This is to reflect thier role as interdictors rather than bombers. I rarely use the PBY liberators as regular bombers but do it when I need them. This seem to work fine. I frequently use my 4Es at 7,000 when attacking land units and bases but it depends on the AA at a base. Well defended bases get some respect. Out of respect for reality, I don't use 4Es at low level for base or port bombing. I won't hesitate to use my mediums vs a base or port but it depends again on the defenses.

We restrict night bombing to one unit per theater, so it is rare that we have more than two or three minor night bombing attacks a turn and they are relagated to nothing more than nuisance attacks.

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RE: Low Alt. bombing - 11/11/2011 12:11:40 AM   
spence

 

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My father flew PV-1s and PV-2s for the Navy in the Atlantic. His bombsight was a squashed fly on the windscreen. According to him the trainers said to release the bombs when the the U-boats Captain's right eye was covered up by the fly. The rockets and 7 x .50 caliber MGs were fired off as the U-boat came in range.

I realize that there is a bit of hyperbole in that description but the point is that the USN didn't use the Norden bombsight for naval attack because they were trained to go in really low in a so-called "Masthead Attack". There are many many photographic records at U-boat.net that include pictures of U-boats under attack taken from the USN bomber which is at 100 ft or less altitude. There's even a great series of photos that show the attacks made by USN PV-1s and a USAAF B-25 where the difference in attack training is plain for all to see. The PV-1 pictures were clearly taken from a plane which was at or under 1000 ft. The pictures of the B-25 attacking show the B-25 attacking from several thousand ft (5k IIRC)

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