Just want to throw out a thought or two on pilot experience gains, in particular bomber pilots, based upon attack mode.
- Ground attack, I think the pilot exp gain is appropriately balanced with fighter pilots. Put a group onto ground attack and after some weeks you will see some exp/skill gains. It is slow, but I think it needs to be that way to prevent exploits.
- Air Base attack - I've never seen a bomber gain any skill or exp in this, I assume it is the same as ground attack? If so, it is likely ok.
- Port Attack- I've never seen a bomber gain any skill or exp in this, I assume it is the same as ground attack? If so, it is likely ok.
- Naval Attack - I've never seen a bomber gain any skill or exp in this, I assume it is the same as ground attack? If so, I'm thinking this one should be tweaked. The issue is that hits, unlike with the above 3 attacks, are not a given at all. A hit in naval attack should be closer in experience gain to what it is with fighter pilots. And sinking a ship should be like a kill for fighter pilot, good chance of skill/exp gain.
Examples: I have a CV .vs. CV battle. My fighter pilots (those that survive) will all generally gain a couple of exp and skill points by battle end. This makes sense, combat is a hard teacher and survivors learn a great deal. My DB and TB pilots though have rarely ever gained any exp/skill. Even after having hit and sunk capital ships. Granted these are not newbie pilots, but surviving combat should enable them to gain exp/skill just like the fighter pilots. I'm sure the code does, but that the modifiers are akin to ground combat. Unlike ground combat, you can't run naval bombing missions for weeks at a time for naval combat. It comes is very short, intense bursts. Or rather to say, you do have your groups on naval attack for weeks at a time, but targets to attack are not a sure thing .. they come along only once in while. Unlike ground attack where the target is more or less guaranteed.
The game balance issue here is that unless you put your bomber pilots into ground bomb missions, they will never gain exp/skill beyond the training limitations.* It seems to be rather silly (and contrary to the game goals) to have to assign your TB groups to ground attacks to complete their training as their real role, ship attack, will likely never provide any combat training for them.
I know this has been brought up in the past. I bring it up now to see if based upon more game experience if we are ready for a tweak on this.
*Yes, allied 4E pilots gain exp/skill, but that is through air2air kills, not via naval bombing missions.