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Expected air attacks results?

 
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Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 9:02:55 PM   
abulbulian


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Trying to understand why a night attack with 3 x B-24D was more effective that an attack with about 130 x MB on Mandalay (clear hex)? The target hex for the ground ground by the Japanese had about 130k troops in it which means plenty of targets to location. However, I know think that the amount of flak was something that actually hindered any decent result from the bombing. This fact and the 'light rain' is why the results of the ground attack were so dismal and discouraging. What could be done to improve the results here? Higher elevation for the bombing to avoid more flak?

On the other hand, I see the night attack on PM to be crazy lucky or just not modeled well. What are the penalties for bombing in the dark? And in 'Severe storms' too? lol. Not sure if it's a sleezy tactic or not, but the allied player is attacking PM with about a dozen raids of 3-12 HB in the night. I tried sending up fighters to defend at night, but resulted in bad loses for me. So it late 42 and I will just have to get use to this tactic or pull my planes off PM so they don't get whittle down by these night raids?

Thanks for any advice. This is my first time playing the Japanese in a campaign. Learned a ton so far, but many areas I still need plenty of help/advice.


Night Air attack on Port Moresby , at 98,130

Weather in hex: Severe storms

Raid detected at 38 NM, estimated altitude 20,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 12 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
B-24D Liberator x 3


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 1 destroyed on ground

No Allied losses



Runway hits 1

Aircraft Attacking:
3 x B-24D Liberator bombing from 15000 feet
Airfield Attack: 10 x 500 lb GP Bomb





Morning Air attack on 45th Indian Brigade, at 59,46 (Mandalay)

Weather in hex: Light rain

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 16,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 23 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-21-Ic Sally x 22
Ki-21-IIa Sally x 80
Ki-43-Ib Oscar x 27
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 30
Ki-43-IIa Oscar x 37
Ki-49-Ia Helen x 23
Ki-49-IIa Helen x 9



Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-21-Ic Sally: 4 damaged
Ki-21-Ic Sally: 2 destroyed by flak
Ki-21-IIa Sally: 11 damaged
Ki-21-IIa Sally: 1 destroyed by flak
Ki-49-Ia Helen: 6 damaged
Ki-49-IIa Helen: 1 damaged


Allied ground losses:
42 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 5 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 10 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 4 disabled
Vehicles lost 4 (1 destroyed, 3 disabled)


Aircraft Attacking:
20 x Ki-21-IIa Sally bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
27 x Ki-21-IIa Sally bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
32 x Ki-21-IIa Sally bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
12 x Ki-21-Ic Sally bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
9 x Ki-49-IIa Helen bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
9 x Ki-21-Ic Sally bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb
23 x Ki-49-Ia Helen bombing from 14000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 kg GP Bomb

Also attacking 17th Indian Division ...
Also attacking 46th Indian Brigade ...
Also attacking 23rd Indian Division ...
Also attacking 8th Medium Regiment ...
Also attacking 107th RAF Base Force ...
Also attacking 104th RAF Base Force ...
Also attacking 150th RAC Regiment ...
Also attacking 106th RAF Base Force ...
Also attacking 103rd RAF Base Force ...
Also attacking 45th Indian Brigade ...
Also attacking 17th Indian Division ...
Also attacking 46th Indian Brigade ...
Also attacking 23rd Indian Division ...
Also attacking 8th Medium Regiment ...
Also attacking 104th RAF Base Force ...
Also attacking 45th Indian Brigade ...
Also attacking 17th Indian Division ...
Also attacking 46th Indian Brigade ...
Also attacking 104th RAF Base Force ...


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
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"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu
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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 9:41:16 PM   
Colonel Mustard


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I'm fairly new, and maybe I don't understand the question, but why do you think the 3 x B-24 raid was more effective than the other? The B-24 made only one hit on the runway plus one plane, where the MB raid caused 42 casualties plus some vehicles. These results don't look odd to me.

There are a lot of things that affect bombing results. For example, I think 14,000 feet is pretty high for medium bombers, they won't be very accurate. Also, in addition to what looks like pretty heavy anti-aircraft fire and the weather reducing accuracy, it matters if the target combat units are in combat mode or move mode. Combat mode would tend to protect them from bombs. I'm sure there are other factors others will mention, but it looks to me like you got what you paid for.

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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 10:51:12 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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Is this the complete report for the Japanese attack? There were no Allied fighters? What altitude were the Oscars flying?

What is the date?


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The Moose

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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 11:15:45 PM   
abulbulian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

Is this the complete report for the Japanese attack? There were no Allied fighters? What altitude were the Oscars flying?

What is the date?



complete report and thus no allied fighters, the date is late October 42.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/15/2013 11:16:30 PM >


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
- Alpha Tester WitW

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

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Post #: 4
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 11:26:21 PM   
abulbulian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Colonel Mustard

I'm fairly new, and maybe I don't understand the question, but why do you think the 3 x B-24 raid was more effective than the other? The B-24 made only one hit on the runway plus one plane, where the MB raid caused 42 casualties plus some vehicles. These results don't look odd to me.

There are a lot of things that affect bombing results. For example, I think 14,000 feet is pretty high for medium bombers, they won't be very accurate. Also, in addition to what looks like pretty heavy anti-aircraft fire and the weather reducing accuracy, it matters if the target combat units are in combat mode or move mode. Combat mode would tend to protect them from bombs. I'm sure there are other factors others will mention, but it looks to me like you got what you paid for.



Why I think the raid was very disappointing...

- Mandalay hex is a clear hex
- Mandalay hex had over 130k troops and 800 AFVs
- over 130 MB with avg experience of 75ish only disabled a handful of squads and destroyed one vehicle
- no allied fighter CAP was present (for those that don't know the research.. this point is key)
- weather was only 'light rain'

My expertise is on the east front, but I do KNOW there was never a raid of a Soviet area (size of hex) with 130k troops and > 800 AFVs would have had these poor results if hit with 130+ German MB (JU88, etc) in a 'clear' type terrain area with no allied CAP fighters flown. Just some flak and light rain to deal with. Granted the German MB is slightly quantitatively better than these Japanese models. Although the Ki-49-IIa Helen is a decent MB bomber.


The B24 raid had 3 planes in storms and night and was able to destroy a plane on the airfield? This is not just a lucky situation as my allied opponent is running these raids (10x) every day and getting results like this about 25% of the time. Seems a bit high of a probability to me. Night bombing over a jungle hex of many miles is storms should have almost no chance of anything with 3 planes, IMO.


The data is out there for people to read, but the concept of night bombing at high altitude was very ineffective in WW2 as the allies found out when hitting German production centers. The research has proven that many allied claims for how destructive these night raids were was mainly propaganda for wartime morale. Given they were sending in 100's of bombers (later 1000s), is why anything at all was ever hit as a small %. So for 3 MB to hit anything would be something like a miracle.


< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/15/2013 11:35:14 PM >


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
- Alpha Tester WitW

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

(in reply to Colonel Mustard)
Post #: 5
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 11:28:00 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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I'd say they were lucky to get the Oscar bombing that high and with that few planes at night.

You took a lot of damage for that altitude. I'd say the hex is crawling with AA units. If you have a good roster you can use the in-game database and look up individual AA devices and see what a safe altitude woudl be. Note you attacked troops and not the air base. Disruption from the AA lowered your bombing results. Getting that many units to coordinate, including fighters which must have been pretty high up, is a feat that early in the war. You don't say where the Japanese planes originated; I'm guessing pretty close.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 1/15/2013 11:29:08 PM >


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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/15/2013 11:29:47 PM   
abulbulian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I'd say they were lucky to get the Oscar bombing that high and with that few planes at night.

You took a lot of damage for that altitude. I'd say the hex is crawling with AA units. If you have a good roster you can use the in-game database and look up individual AA devices and see what a safe altitude woudl be. Note you attacked troops and not the air base. Disruption from the AA lowered your bombing results. Getting that many units to coordinate, including fighters which must have been pretty high up, is a feat that early in the war. You don't say where the Japanese planes originated; I'm guessing pretty close.


The Japanese raid originated from two AB about 3-5 hexes away.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/15/2013 11:30:45 PM >


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
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"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

(in reply to Bullwinkle58)
Post #: 7
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 12:29:01 AM   
crsutton


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Yep, it is pretty clear that you flew into a nest of AA guns. A strong AA defense does effect accuracy. AA assets are one thing that the Indian and British army has a good supply of. You are also bombing with MB at a high altitude. (In real life Japanese bombers were not very accurate at altitude). I use my Allied mediums at 7-9 K but don't have to worry about AA as much. You also bombed in "light rain". Combine this with a less than optimum die roll and the results are well within what you could expect.

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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 2:05:59 AM   
Alfred

 

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abulbulian,

You say you want to understand the result and how to get a better result. There are a few changes to your mindset which are first necessary.

(A) Forget about any expertise you may have from being a tester for the Wor in the East series of games. AE uses different algorithms and the forces deployed have different capabilities.

(B) There is a lot of abstraction in AE so you cannot directly transfer individual, specific historical outcomes to individual, specific game outcomes.

(C) The two outcomes at issue cannot be directly compared with each other because they are quite different. The only similarity between them is that they involve aircraft. Everything else is quite different; different targets, different operational circumstances.

(D) Not all the effects of air bombing (and the same applies to land combat too) is captured by the combat report. It isn't just a question of FOW, there is much which occurs "under the hood" and not immediately visible to the player.

(E) Contrary to your claim, the key point was not the lack of Allied CAP.


With those preliminaries out of the way, let's look at what you have provided. Note however, there is a considerable amount of info lacking to give cast iron answers.

Night Attack

1. That was not a particularly useful result for the Allied player. It definitely achieved much less than did your own daylight attack.

2. The Liberators bombed above your flak ceiling limit. There was no Japanese CAP. There was therefore nothing to degrade the accuracy of the bombers.

3. The atmospheric conditions themselves would not have been much, if any, of a degrading factor for the bombers. The main impact the atmospheric conditions had was on the number of aircraft able to find the target. Only 3 bombers found the target, not the entire squadron.

4. Add to the atmospheric conditions the fact that it was a night operation, flown by bombers without radar, the dispersal of the raid is an expected outcome.

5. The bombers dropped 30 bombs for only 1 runway hit and 1 (perhaps) destroyed Oscar. Even by that metric that is not a good outcome. Other metrics almost certainly would demonstrate in clearer terms the poor outcome for the Allied player. For example;

(a) how many Japanese aircraft were there at the airfield, of which only 1 appears to have been destroyed. This is a significant point to bear in mind as you make such a song and dance of the "heavily populated" Mandalay hex in your own day attack

(b) you don't know what operational losses might have been suffered by the Allied Liberator squadron, nor do you know how many Liberators remain available for a follow up raid

(c) you lost 1 VP, if the Allied player lost a Liberator on the flight home he would have lost 2 VP ; even if no Liberators were lost on the way home, I can't see how the Allied player should be pleased at the risk reward ratio of the operation

(d) you suffered no supply hits, no corollary damage to land units living at the base


Day Atack

1. The Japanese bombers flew into very heavy flak. This greatly degraded their performance. The British have a lot of good flak units with high ceilings. It looks very much like your opponent has concentrated his flak at Mandalay. That is bad news for you because if you try to fly above the flak ceiling, your bomber performance will be markedly degraded. If you fly below 10k, which is normally required to significantly improve your bombing accuracy, with such a concentration of flak, you will be shredded even more and still suffer major bombing degradation.

2. With such a heavy flak concentration, your opponent does not need to fly any CAP to severely degrade your performance. As I said above, no fighter CAP is not the key point.

3. You have no idea what is the fortification level at Mandalay. Fortification levels reduce the damage inflicted by an enemy attack. This applies not just to ground assaults but also air bombing. That the Mandalay hex is a clear terrain hex is in itself not a good predictor that your bombing will return "full bang for the buck".

4. You sent the bombers on a "ground attack" mission. That is almost certainly the wrong mission to have chosen under the circumstances. For the reasons given below, the far better mission would have been an "airfield attack" even if there were no Allied planes based at the Mandalay airfield. An airfield attack is a better way of achieving your primary objective, which presumably is the capture of Mandalay, otherwise why conduct a "ground attack" mission.

(a) from the 528 bombs you were able to deliver, if they had been targetted at the airfield, you would have achieved many runway hits, probably some airfield service hits and with some luck, also some base supply hits. That would be a good outcome for you because the damage must be repaired and therefore the engineers are not available for building forts. That will make it easier for you to capture the base by ground assault.

(b) you state it is late 1942. Presumably the monsoon is still in season. The monsoon season severely restricts the flow of supplies. The supply flow rate is dependent on the level of infrastructure development. Hence damage the airfield, you retard infrastructure development. Reduce the available supply, again the easier it will be to capture the base by ground assault.

(c) bombing an airfield targets not just aircraft stationed there, but also dishes out corollary damage to the support units. This is very significant when attacking a concentrated flak area. The support units targetted include pure AA units plus Base Forces which also include significant AA weapons. Based on the info you have provided, your first priority at Mandalay should be to degrade the flak, not the infantry/armour located there.

6. A higher DL on Mandalay will improve your bombing returns. You want to maximise your DL at 10 using dedicated recon aircraft.

7. The atmospheric conditions were much better than those which applied to the night bombing. The atmospheric conditions would have assisted greatly in maximising the number of bombers arriving co-ordinated. I direct you back to what I said regarding the effect of the night conditions. Again not a particularly important damage multiplier for the day attack.

8. You have absolutely no idea how much disruption your "ground bombing" caused. It is quite likely you caused significant disruption but if you were not in a position to immediately follow up with a ground assault to take advantage of the disruption, you have wasted the entire air operation. For given good supply levels and adequate support, both of which appear to be present based on the info you have provided, disruption is quickly recovered. Again another reason why preference should have been given to conducting airfield bombing.

9. Very rarely are devices destroyed outright. By far the most common sequence is a device is damaged first, and only if an already damaged device is hit again is it destroyed. Again, given good supply and support levels, damaged devices are relatively quickly repaired.

Alfred

(in reply to crsutton)
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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 6:30:27 AM   
abulbulian


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Thanks Alfred!

This knowledge should help me in understanding how to maximize my bombing raids and attempt to hinder my enemies.

_____________________________

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- Alpha Tester WitW

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

(in reply to Alfred)
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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 9:23:45 AM   
janh

 

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From Alfreds point's I'd underline the forts and entrenchment of the units there. Fort level 4 or 5 really decrease bombing casualties, even if you'd drop your altitude to say 5k. You could try, but the weakly protected Sallys and the Helens with their higher service rating would not be my first choice. You probably have 1-2 flak and at least as many ops losses per day. Lillys, if you have kept that line, should be able to survive such a bombing run better.

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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 1:53:39 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian

Thanks Alfred!

This knowledge should help me in understanding how to maximize my bombing raids and attempt to hinder my enemies.


Well, there is more to it if you want to maximise your performance.

1. You should become thoroughly familiar with LoBaron's Air Co-Ordination guide. It is one of the few stickys (War Room).

2. Search for the various pilot training threads. Those threads often also discuss mission profile altitudes.

3. Playing Japan, you should also look up Damian's Japan Economic guide to master aircraft R&D.

Alfred

(in reply to abulbulian)
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RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 7:41:30 PM   
abulbulian


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Yes, baby steps.

All said and done, I still don't see the credibility of the results of night bombing with a few aircraft. Just a little to unrealistic with how effective it is, IMO. To answer the question of planes located on PM, it's now about < 40 when attack took place. Seems best to just move the planes off for now. Maybe the beta patch will address night bombing effectiveness. Three allied HB were able to score 2 AB hits, 1 runway hit, and destroy 3 planes at 15k ft coming from bases in Australia at night. The second attack was almost as effective.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Air attack on Port Moresby , at 98,130

Weather in hex: Partial cloud

Raid detected at 16 NM, estimated altitude 18,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 4 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
B-17E Fortress x 3


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-45 KAIa Nick: 1 destroyed on ground
A6M3 Zero: 1 destroyed on ground
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 1 destroyed on ground

No Allied losses



Airbase hits 2
Runway hits 1

Aircraft Attacking:
3 x B-17E Fortress bombing from 15000 feet
Airfield Attack: 8 x 500 lb GP Bomb



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Air attack on Port Moresby , at 98,130

Weather in hex: Partial cloud

Raid detected at 48 NM, estimated altitude 21,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
no flights


Allied aircraft
B-17E Fortress x 3


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 1 destroyed on ground
A6M3 Zero: 1 destroyed on ground

No Allied losses



Airbase hits 1
Runway hits 1

Aircraft Attacking:
3 x B-17E Fortress bombing from 15000 feet
Airfield Attack: 8 x 500 lb GP Bomb



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/16/2013 7:46:59 PM >


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
- Alpha Tester WitW

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

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Post #: 13
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 9:36:56 PM   
Alfred

 

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Put up a night CAP over Port Moresby.

Alfred

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Post #: 14
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 9:40:16 PM   
abulbulian


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I tried and it got shredded, thus not very effective. Was told that even planes labeled as 'night fighters' have no special ability. Although don't have any of those yet.

Alfred, just curious if you think the results documented seem realistic? You can have 'no comment' if you like, as I understand some don't want to 'rock the boat'.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/16/2013 9:43:25 PM >


_____________________________

- Beta Tester WitE and ATG
- Alpha Tester WitW

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack." - Sun Tzu

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 15
RE: Expected air attacks results? - 1/16/2013 10:43:32 PM   
Alfred

 

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There are some very knowledgeable people who regularly answer questions and explain issues on this forum. Then there are others who exhibit the same behaviour but lack the requisite degree of knowledge or overall understanding of the game. The latter often post quite incorrect information. A very common mistake made on this forum is the extreme myopia many have when "discussing" issues.

Anyone who says that night fighters have no special ability is either ignorant or has an axe to grind unfairly. Night fighters do have a special ability. It is called airborne radar. In one of the many beta patches which eventually transmorphed into the official patch 6, michaelm tweeked the night routines to emphasise the difference between aircraft night bombing and night intercepting who had airborne radar, as opposed to those without it.

Having airborne radar is not per se the panacea to everything. The player must still handle his assets in many other areas to maximise his night performance.

I don't have any particular issues with night operations. Within the overall set of abstractions and resultant compromises, I don't see the results achieved by players as unacceptable. Read the AARs and you will find many night operations which show a poor ROI in night bombing. Many players have very restrictive HRs on night bombing but generally speaking many of these players are prone to immediately run to implement a HR when they can't devise a proper riposte to the opponents tactics (or have to cave in to their opponent's non negotiatible demand just to keep the game alive), even though (absent of the tactic being one which exploits a bug) there is always a counter tactic or strategy.

In your situation, you state your night CAP was "shredded". I don't know what you mean by that. If I go on the basis of your OP which rated the night attack a great success and the day attack a great failure, I suspect "shredded" is a great exaggeration. By saying it was "shredded" did you mean that you lost more fighters on night CAP than if they had gone up in daylight against the 4Es. I find it very difficult to believe that was the overall outcome, excluding the always possible outlier result.

Currently you appear to be doing zilch to degrade the 4Es bombing at night. You have no CAP, none of your very limited high ceiling flak is present. You are simply not doing anything to throw off the bombers aim or up their operational losses. Nor do you seem to be doing anything to counterattack the 4Es. It may be that this theatre ranks very low in your priorities in terms of quality of aircraft and pilots. Which is fine but if so why get riled up about these extremely low value bomber raids. Evacuate the aircraft from Port Moresby and hope your opponent does not find a more lucrative ROI target elsewhere.

If you institute night CAP, those planes will largely not be on the ground to be "destroyed" by the 4Es.

I don't know exactly who holds which bases but I very much suspect that the Allies have very few "worthwhile" bases they can hit within normal 4E range. Port Moresby is very likely it. That being so you, every night you should be saying a thank you prayer that the Liberators are visiting only during the night and not during the day.

Alfred

(in reply to abulbulian)
Post #: 16
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