At the moment my main airbases have about 50 AA guns, 75 mm and 88 mm. It really bothers me that allies can bomb these bases (flying at 10k) almost daily without losing a single plane. Even 2Es seem to be almost immune to flak.
There is I think a tendency towards tunnel vision with regards to AA guns; people look at them and say "well, I only killed X aircraft today, they're obviously not doing anything at all" etc. Basically, there are two things that don't seem to be factored in a lot of the time:
- Effect of AA fire on bomber accuraccy - what's the odds a bomber hits what it's aiming at at a base with no AA guns v 50, or 200, or however many? Obviously the point at which it becomes a really significant factor is dependent on the size of the raid involved - but then that's a question of concentration that is completely situational. If you have a lot of guns, you can significantly hit the number of hits (so to speak).
- Effects of disruption on AA guns - remember that raids on airbases hit AA and base force units too; if the raids are large ones and the AA complement at the base isn't big enough to stand up to the number of hits involved they will get tired and disrupted and etc as the bombing progresses, which can take a few days to settle - days you won't have if bombing is persistent. I don't think many people look at those numbers too hard...they make a big difference.
(and, of course, 50 HAA guns ain't exactly a huge number for a 46mi hex, looking at it a certain way - but that's by the by...)
The fact remains: 14 months of war, and japanese flak have shot down just 35 allied planes. 25 of these are dive bombers, and I think land based flak have shot down just 5 or 6 planes. 14 months, 6 planes.
Historically it was dangerous job to attack major japanese air bases with numerous flak guns. In this game it's not.
Historically Allied medium bombers went in low, using suppression and refining their techniques and weapons as the war progressed. Japanese flak did get a fair number but the Allies got results this way. In the game, it does not pay to attack at low level as the benefits do not outweigh the costs. Better to stay at medium to high altititudes. Thus very few Japanese flak kills.
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