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Airwar Gripes

 
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Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 2:37:26 PM   
Q-Ball


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I may be preaching to the chior here, but there is some inbalance in the airwar. And I think it is favoring the Soviets for the most part.

Here are some things I am seeing; please let me know if you see the same thing:

1. In GROUND SUPPORT missions, bombers and their escorts get killed, with little damage back to the intercepting fighters. Unescorted bombers get slaughtered; that's OK, though bombers seem to fly unescorted, whether you have a high escort setting or not

2. QUANTITY seems to matter much more than QUALITY. Swarms of crappy fighters will extract a toll

I think #2 is the biggest problem. I am sure it cuts both ways, but that certainly favors the SOVIETS, who have more quantity than quality.

The Luftwaffe historically was dominant in 41-42, at least where they concentrated aircraft. This is not true in WITE. The Soviets hold thier own in the air war in 41, and gain the upper hand in 42. It is dangerous for German bombers to fly. It is dangerous for Soviet ones too, but they can absorb more losses.

The airbase bombing was fixed, but the VVS is still too powerful early-on. I don't disagree that the Germans have some advantages early-on that may need to be looked at, but this one is a problem, IMO.

Somehow, the Germans need to be able to run Ground Support missions in 1941, without suffering a big toll in shot-down bombers.

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 12/21/2011 2:43:29 PM >
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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 2:51:56 PM   
Ketza


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Airbase bombing was not really fixed. Its still quite possible to saturate Axis airbases with dozens of attacks.

The real fix would be to put a limit on the amount of times a base could be bombed.

The air system in its current form is certainly borked. I am actually finding as the Axis in 1943 it makes more sense to not fly GS except on the attack as defensive GS gets eaten alive.




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< Message edited by Ketza -- 12/21/2011 2:54:11 PM >

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 3:04:17 PM   
Q-Ball


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The Airbase bombing thing can at least be addressed by house rule, or gentlemanly play. As Soviets, I won't massively airbase bomb, even if I could.

The bigger problem is that Ground Support missions get killed. This happens for both sides, but the Soviets can absorb big bombers losses, and the Germans can't. (And really, the losses are in pilots. The elite German bomber pilots are likely all dead in 1941 if you run GS missions. The Soviet 1941 cadre is too, but that's no great loss. That's the difference)

In my game vs. Bletchley Geek, I have also stopped GS for the most part. B-G is continuing GS, and I am shooting down VVS aircraft in droves; something like 25-1 kill ratios. My fighter units are all in the 90s morale/exp, and are crack aces. My bomber units, on the other hand, have exp. in the low 60s, because the best pilots are all dead now.

B-G continues to run GS, because VVS is green anyway, so anyone killed off can be replaced with an equivalent pilot and plane. Over 200 IL-2s and 60 Pe-2s roll off the assembly lines each turn, so unless losses top 300+, they are manageable for the VVS.

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 12/21/2011 3:21:04 PM >

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 3:11:14 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I don't see all that high losses with my own ground support missions provided I use quality aircraft and plenty of escorts. Ju 87's and 1930's Soviet level bombers drop like flies, but Ju 88's and Il-2's don't.

Axis tend to mount as I generally have more aircraft in the air than them.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 3:22:07 PM   
Q-Ball


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....from the other side, against Baelfiin, my VVS shot down 111 Axis Level bombers last turn, which was T-14. That's a ton. In every case where he suffered high losses, it was a GS mission where I intercepted with over 100 fighters.

I have my Fighter Intercept maxed-out at 300, and I've stacked the front with every fighter I can. Maybe your opponent is not doing that?

Maybe we need to swap air settings too; it's very possible there is "Operator error".

But I'm in two games now on each side, and seeing the same thing: Fighter Intercepts kill GS missions. Soviets can take the hits, Germans can't.

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 12/21/2011 4:22:23 PM >

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 4:13:04 PM   
Flaviusx


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Ketza, it's 1943 and you are inflicting losses at a 10:1 ratio.

My own view is that what 76mm is doing is a huge waste of time and resources. He's actually probably retarding the progression of the Red Air Force by pushing it this way. He's feeding you free kills and preventing his own guys from getting good experience. It's just grossly inefficient. He only gets away with this because of the massive Soviet production edge, but spamming bombing missions this way is, frankly, mulish and counterproductive.

(The real way to crap all over the Luftwaffe is by CAP and flak. Which may well be too effective. That is to say, more or less what Q-ball is doing.)



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 12/21/2011 4:18:26 PM >


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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 4:41:14 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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German air losses are completely out of whack, as I have shown quite a few times already on my AAR of the game with Q-Ball.

I think two things need to be looked upon:

1) At some point during the 1.05 beta process, Pavel made changes so that airplanes flying GS came on the target on smaller strike packages. It seems to me that my fighters perform very well, because these smaller strike packages are easily overrun by the massive CAP I can put on the air.

2) I think Soviet fighter models might be too effective on combats happening on the lower altitude bands. I've been consistently upgrading my best Fighter Regiments to the LaGG-3 and Yak-1 models, and making sure their airbases were close the front line. I don't see I-16 and the other obsolete flying crap doing anything other than being slaughtered, and do indeed have a role as "chaff" to cover my bombers.

I haven't really tried to bombard Luftwaffe bases systematically. And I stopped Ground Attack missions also because I think the VVS was having too easy of a time.

It really doesn't make sense that the Luftwaffe does better in a purely defensive role. This might be just an effect of an inherent limitation in the air model: that of local air superiority missions not being modeled at all.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 4:42:46 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

German air losses are completely out of whack


I disagree..

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 4:54:17 PM   
CarnageINC


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You know what baffles me is that when dive bombers and low level attack aircraft are in the mix the accuracy of the bombing mission is still low.  The Stuka was a very slow but effective weapon in ground support.  I'm sure its the case with IL-2 with the Soviets.  These planes were the A-10's of the era, you rarely see any tank kills when the Ju-87 is flying GS.  The ground support mechanics are way off.  I wish Gary had decided to go with the air war mechanics that was perfected in WitP or even ED/BtR.

Any more I use the Luftwaffe as a interdiction and resupply force only .

As far as quantity over quality, I must agree with Q, there is just no way IMO that the 1930's era aircraft of the Red AF can take such a toll on the Luftwaffe in the first year or so.  If I could turn off the air war portion I would its just frustrating to see these unrealistic combats.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 6:28:50 PM   
M60A3TTS

 

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I don't bomb airbases either. No houserules required, I just don't.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 6:38:24 PM   
randallw

 

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The individual weapons of aircraft are given ratings, and the GP bombs on Stukas are given a very high accuracy rating.  Maybe the game mechanics have the Stukas attacking semi random targets in the target hex instead of making tanks a priority...maybe they're even trying to avoid tanks?

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 8:47:50 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

I don't bomb airbases either. No houserules required, I just don't.


Same here, I have never ever attacked airbases and HQs. The day they will say "it's fixed, for real!" first I will knock on wood... and then attack these units

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 9:18:16 PM   
Helpless


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it's fixed, for real!

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 9:32:50 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

it's fixed, for real!


*knocks on wood*





... death to Marquo's HQs and airbases!

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 9:58:45 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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After filtering out the recent patch's spike in recon plane losses (and those to enemy fighters intercepting them) I am still generally seeing about a 3:1 overall loss ratio favoring the Axis. Whether this is sustainable, or realistic, I'll leave for the experts to decide. I used to get better ratios as the Axis before the interception over enemy territory routines were changed, but that's because I discovered the tactic (trick) of running my Axis air supply missions at the start of the turn, which then drew in the Soviet interceptors to be slaughtered in droves over my friendly territory. Now, the Soviets never seem to intercept any of my air supply missions, and thus have a LOT more fighters making it into the air over their own forces, during my ground attacks (and ensuing Ground Support missions) and are able to cause more casualties against the Luftwaffe.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 10:23:52 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

I am still generally seeing about a 3:1 overall loss ratio favoring the Axis


In you save ratio is ~1:5. Not all losses are reported immediately after the battle.

Yes Soviet CAP could be too good sometimes. But it doesn't mean Axis player can't do anything. For example, players usually omit start bombing completely, which may not look too impressive but:

1) Forcing to keep PVO units around cities and not on the front lines, thus reducing the front line CAP
2) Forcing Soviet player to evacuate factories earlier, thus reducing effective men/avf/count

Even 1% of damage may cause factory to miss production roll.

On the related note, coming patch will have very serious aircraft review from Dennis. Some of the most popular German fighters will get max speed boost, which is one of the most important aspects impacting aircraft performance.





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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 10:34:47 PM   
Mentor


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I'm a n00b and only playing my first 41GC against a Soviet AI on challenging.  I still have dominant air superiority over 90% of the front.  There are one or 2 Soviet fighter groups that seem to have picked up a lot of experience and slaughter my planes, but other than that the Axis air power dominates, far more so that historical at this point in the campaign.

Based on my limited experience I think the air war is pretty good actually.

Edit: should have mentioned that my game is in May '43 and I still own the skies.


< Message edited by Mentor -- 12/21/2011 10:38:36 PM >

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 11:30:52 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

it's fixed, for real!


It's fixed for all practical purposes. The exchange ratios ought to discourage anybody from doing them. There's easier and better ways to knock down the enemy air force than bombing their bases, which is far and away the most expensive way to do it




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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 11:48:36 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

It's fixed for all practical purposes. The exchange ratios ought to discourage anybody from doing them. There's easier and better ways to knock down the enemy air force than bombing their bases, which is far and away the most expensive way to do it


That's right, Flavio.

quote:

*knocks on wood*


Someone was knocking too hard ;) and this get me back to the CAP code and I found that some limits didn't work as expected.



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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/21/2011 11:57:25 PM   
randallw

 

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I suspect there will be continuing tweaking of the WitE air formulas up to the day when WitW is released. 

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 12:01:43 AM   
Ketza


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Ketza, it's 1943 and you are inflicting losses at a 10:1 ratio.

My own view is that what 76mm is doing is a huge waste of time and resources. He's actually probably retarding the progression of the Red Air Force by pushing it this way. He's feeding you free kills and preventing his own guys from getting good experience. It's just grossly inefficient. He only gets away with this because of the massive Soviet production edge, but spamming bombing missions this way is, frankly, mulish and counterproductive.

(The real way to crap all over the Luftwaffe is by CAP and flak. Which may well be too effective. That is to say, more or less what Q-ball is doing.)




I certainly wont complain about my air loss ratio but it is something I have managed closely from day one of the 76mm game. (I think its a holdover from my WITPAE days)

I still think airbase attacks are an issue.





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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 12:32:08 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

quote:

I am still generally seeing about a 3:1 overall loss ratio favoring the Axis


In you save ratio is ~1:5. Not all losses are reported immediately after the battle.



Hi Pavel,

That ratio is skewed by the first turn's 4000+ Soviet planes destroyed. After factoring out that, and the last couple of turns recon/interceptor losses, the ratio is about 3:1, pretty reliably. The other skewing factor, of course, is the higher Soviet training losses.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 11:23:59 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

quote:

It's fixed for all practical purposes. The exchange ratios ought to discourage anybody from doing them. There's easier and better ways to knock down the enemy air force than bombing their bases, which is far and away the most expensive way to do it


That's right, Flavio.

quote:

*knocks on wood*

Someone was knocking too hard ;) and this get me back to the CAP code and I found that some limits didn't work as expected.


I'd love that you cared to ellaborate further why don't you think Luftwaffe air losses are out of whack. This would help me to analyze the proper data in an adequate way. Data that I'm painstakingly collecting by hand, by the way.

They do certainly look like as completely out of whack. And I'd love even more that you, or anybody, explained to us in a comprenhensive way how to handle the air war, now or after that revision, because the manual - and the knowledge in the community - is far from adequate, especially wrt explaining actual mechanics and how do aircraft attributes relate to those. Also giving a comprenhensive explanation of how air doctrine sliders work - with actual concrete gameplay examples, mind you - would also help a lot.

Thanks

PS: Interdiction missions - what some Axis players think to be the "safest" role for the Luftwaffe - really aren't. Last turn I managed - or rather I should say that rather than me, these too black-box mechanics are in charge, so the credit should go to them - to achieve a 2.5:1 exchange ratio in favour of the VVS. Sincerely, the outcomes look like as if the Soviet Union had AWACS planes vectoring interceptors on enemy aircraft. Just far, far too effective, and saying "out of whack" is not a hyperbolic statement by any reasonable measure.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 11:37:46 AM   
Helpless


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quote:

They do certainly look like as completely out of whack


I think the one who comes with such bold statement should prove it. So far in many saves I've seen I don't witness any anomalies. Including your game.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 12:35:14 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek
And I'd love even more that you, or anybody, explained to us in a comprehensive way how to handle the air war, now or after that revision, because the manual - and the knowledge in the community - is far from adequate, especially wrt explaining actual mechanics and how do aircraft attributes relate to those. Also giving a comprenhensive explanation of how air doctrine sliders work - with actual concrete gameplay examples, mind you - would also help a lot.

Thanks

PS: Interdiction missions - what some Axis players think to be the "safest" role for the Luftwaffe - really aren't. Last turn I managed - or rather I should say that rather than me, these too black-box mechanics are in charge, so the credit should go to them - to achieve a 2.5:1 exchange ratio in favour of the VVS. Sincerely, the outcomes look like as if the Soviet Union had AWACS planes vectoring interceptors on enemy aircraft. Just far, far too effective, and saying "out of whack" is not a hyperbolic statement by any reasonable measure.


I would also wish for a more detailed "guide" on how to use the Luftwaffe in a most efficient way. Turn 1 and 2 with extensive airfield bombardments appear to be very successful, and easy to handle. But deeper into the GC I kind of loose the handle on the air war, at least it feels like it. Maybe it is in part because it is a much more abstracted system that doesn't show a lot of events and mechanics going on behind the scenes, unlike in the way in AE that I am so used to. Maybe I am just misusing the Luftwaffe.

Whether the vectoring of CAP is too efficient as BG's questions, I don't know. It would indeed seem that it is comparably effective to vector the majority of "readiness" or "patrolling" fighters from a set of airfields into a CAP action a few hexes away as it is to join up an attacking bombers and fighters for pre-scheduled missions.

I know that I can use that to my benefit in later turns, though. I found that putting together strike packages consisting of minimum of bombers escorted by large groups of good fighters, where large means at least #(axis F/FB) >= expected #(VVS F/FB), can act as a reverse CAP trap. Key to it appears to be the range, though, so I pick targets that are ideally less than 6-8 hexes from my bases, while maximizing the distance to the VVS airbases. Range seems to have stronger effects on losses (operative and loss of damaged returning ones?). This gives a ratio of 4:1 or 5:1, often better, in fighter losses in 41 or 42 -- not too bad. Does sound gamey though?

What I makes me wonder as well is that the bomber losses in general and not limited to single-engine ground support planes as mentioned somewhere above, tend to be "horrendous" when on ground support missions (in the sense of steadily and rather rapidly attriting Luftwaffe assets). Interdiction seems to be less costly, but too often the escorts are too few (perhaps I overused the F in my supply flights or runs the previous turn?) or perform below my expectations.

I know people including ComradeP point out the value of ground support in combat, and also interdiction should lead to noticeable effects, but even with 100 bombers involved I so far rarely find them to play key roles. Not sure what I am doing wrong, but I restricted myself to selective bombing runs of key hexes, and else feel the Luftwaffe bombers best perform supply runs except in winter, where they can recuperate in Germany. I see a few casualties, some equipment hits, and several disrupted elements, which despite a 50-100 bombers involved hardly seems to lower the defenders abilities. The Wehrmacht is in relative terms already strong enough to handle most stacks own, so rather not waste bombers or mission miles on GS.

However, this is a little unexpected as it is commonly accepted that the Germans perfected a close air-ground interaction and that the success of German Blitzkrieg tactics was in part due to the close support provided by Luftwaffe? The way I seem to misuse it, it rather is a fuel hauler...
Any advice is greatly appreciated...

< Message edited by janh -- 12/22/2011 12:41:01 PM >

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 1:18:40 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Helpless

quote:

They do certainly look like as completely out of whack


I think the one who comes with such bold statement should prove it. So far in many saves I've seen I don't witness any anomalies. Including your game.


If this isn't an anomaly, I don't know what it is.



As far as I know the A-50 Beriev (or Mainstay as known in the west) first flight was in 1978. I can't find any reference about a PVO network of radar stations as the one available to the British during the Battle of Britain. Sincerely, seeing 120 fighters scrambling to intercept an operational interdiction event is ludicrous and speaks loudly about the air model in WitE.

Local air superiority contests out of the air model = "flying ponies" results as the above become possible.

I don't want to enter a pissing contest with anybody, much less with you Pavel. Honestly.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 1:42:39 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

If this isn't an anomaly, I don't know what it is.


Depends how you look at it. Unit interdiction is highly abstracted (as many other aspects of air war), in reality it consist of many small flights along the path. So your analogy doesn't seem valid to me.

Also if you look above, CAP is affected by the bug - from this POV it is an anomaly and your example could be used to prove it. Besides I just found another flak bug, which can make some fighters and high speed bombers too vulnerable to the flak fire. So it may add up to the proof of "anomaly".

In any case, posting a save on tech forum is much more appreciated. I can't load into debugger "feeling of out of whack" as I see plenty examples where in general it works as expected (btw, your game with Q-Ball is just one of them).

quote:

I don't want to enter a pissing contest with anybody, much less with you Pavel. Honestly.


Cheers. Merry Christmas! :)

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 2:24:53 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

I know people including ComradeP point out the value of ground support in combat, and also interdiction should lead to noticeable effects, but even with 100 bombers involved I so far rarely find them to play key roles. Not sure what I am doing wrong, but I restricted myself to selective bombing runs of key hexes, and else feel the Luftwaffe bombers best perform supply runs except in winter, where they can recuperate in Germany. I see a few casualties, some equipment hits, and several disrupted elements, which despite a 50-100 bombers involved hardly seems to lower the defenders abilities. The Wehrmacht is in relative terms already strong enough to handle most stacks own, so rather not waste bombers or mission miles on GS.


Note that when I say "ground support" I mean actual ground support and not bomb unit attacks. Interdiction can be suicidal for the Luftwaffe in the long term as it's pretty easy to set up traps for the enemy bombers as the Soviets. Ground support, however, is useful (with medium bombers, Ju 87 losses will soon become high), primarily because the Soviets tend to get massive (in the thousands) disruption from them, which reduces their defensive capabilities significantly.

The air war still seems to suffer from the problem that when sides are evenly matched in terms of number of aircraft involved (even though we can't see the individual flights), barely any aircraft are shot down. Dogfights mostly seem to happen when one side (often the attacker) is outnumbered. That is: the vast majority of air to air losses in my current game are not caused during battles where my VVS goes toe to toe with a similar number of Luftwaffe aircraft.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/22/2011 2:28:44 PM >


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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 10:46:51 PM   
Q-Ball


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I just opened my last turn v Baelfiin, and he has now lost 412 Luftwaffe Level bombers in the last 2 turns. That's a ton.

When I am getting over 100 fighters up, he is getting lots of planes shot down, regardless of the escort. On one combat, I put 267 Fighters up over W Moscow, and shot down 41 Level Bombers.

Same thing happened in my game vs. Bletchley Geek, only the roles were reversed of course.

Maybe Baelfiin and I made the same mistakes as Luftwaffe, and B_G and I made the same brilliant moves as VVS. What I am doing is not rocket science: Set Intercept to 300, and stack every fighter I can at the front. That's it.

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RE: Airwar Gripes - 12/22/2011 11:48:16 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

I put 267 Fighters up over W Moscow, and shot down 41 Level Bombers.


That would be a third time in this thread when I say that this is a bug. As limit for the CAP doesn't work the same as limit for the strike. It becomes obvious when you launch very big attacks.

Germans did loose a lot of planes when they tried to bomb well protected areas (Moscow, Leningrad), but even then they didn't do this on the second week of the war. VVS was still very active.

By analogy if you run a hasty attack against big fortified stack behind the river in bad terrain would you be surprised to loose many squads?

< Message edited by Helpless -- 12/22/2011 11:49:57 PM >


_____________________________

Pavel Zagzin
WITE/WITW Development

(in reply to Q-Ball)
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