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Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 7:24:59 AM   
Endy

 

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Hey guys,

I recently came back to the PBEM with my long time opponent after a break and soon after that we had a clash near the islands surrounding Luganville with me sending my KB to crush his invasion and BB surface fleets as I knew the Allied carriers were not around and the only support for the Allies were land based fighters on LRCAP. It's November 1943.

The results of the strike were very underwhelming to me which led to us experimenting more and repeating the turn with different setups and weather to see what was going on.

The major thing that struck me, that out of over 600 TBs and DBs on the carriers, the most I've seen attack, counting in both AM and PB phases were perhaps 150-200 total, but nowhere near that in a single strike of course, but split over a few small strikes. I decided to check, and it seems over half of DB squadrons and some TB squadrons did not even fly this round or the next as we started checking further.

So as I mentioned, we started testing. The first time, the Allied fleets were around 5-6 TFs, surface and transport, so we checked that first since we thought TF fragmentation might have been a problem. We eliminated that by putting only a single BB fleet was in range (5 or 6 hexes)

Then, I experimented with different KB setups, from 1-2 CV TFs to spread between 4 TFs because. Results were pretty much the same in all cases. The carriers were also checked for overcrowding and I made sure all ships were below the allowed plane number.

To make it short, the factors we checked:

- range
- movement exhaustion - KB attacked both moing into position and stationary
- target fleet dispersion - from a few to one only
- KB overcrowding - from 2 to 4 TFs, plane numbers below limit
- weather, made sure it was decent enough and if not, repeated the test
- pilot morale 99, no fatigue, best available leaders for squadrons and CVs, xp 60-70 mostly for pilots, sometimes 80
- lots of FP, ship and land based provided search, 10/10 visibility, some TBs and DBs also searching, no other effect
- mod used: DaBabes

In all tested scenarios, no more than around 25% of the carrier bombers went on attack missions and the strikes tended to be fragmented (less so with one target fleet but still), with the best strike I think of 140 fighters, 36DBs and 72 TBs - which was the only strike in that test.

Now, I know strike results may vary a lot, pilots may miss depending on weather etc. but what I'm curious about is why, from around 1000 planes, only 250 take part in the attack throughout the turn. I know the game does not deal well with huge CV TFs, but I've seen much larger single strikes happen, of around 500-700 planes in the air in some AARs on this forum, and that with a similar CV number to mine. I've also had much better results in the same game we're talking about, but against Allied CVs, (can that be a factor and the bombers only go in force after CV fleets)?

Anyway, we exhausted our ideas after testing the factors mentioned above so we decided it's best to ask the hive mind :) Can you guys help or suggest any other factors that should be checked? I would appreciate any help in this matter because I just don't know what I'm doing wrong or whether the game is supposed to behave that way or am I just forgetting about something very important I have no idea about etc.

I will be happy to provide any additional information of course if that's needed, just let me know.

Thanks!

PS. I did not link combat reports since I don't know if any would be suitable from the ~20 tries, but anyway, the biggest strike that happened was mentioned above, with some turns having 2-3 or more fragmented strikes (depending on the number of enemy TFs in range), but the total number of planes active during the turn was always more or less the same and never about around 250 planes total, with some squadrons apparently not taking part at all (especially the DBs for some reason)


< Message edited by Endy -- 4/22/2015 9:17:56 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 1:02:12 PM   
rms1pa

 

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hmm? air skill of task force commanders? air skill of squadron commanders?

only thing that comes to my mind.

rms/pa

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(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 2
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 1:29:27 PM   
Endy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rms1pa

hmm? air skill of task force commanders? air skill of squadron commanders?

only thing that comes to my mind.

rms/pa


All CV TF commanders have air skill over 70, squadron commanders 63-64 in case of fighters, high 50s to oer 60 in many cases for all bomber squadrons, so that's one of the things I always checked in this game.

Ah, and highest possible inspiration numbers for bomber squadrons I could manage while keeping high air and naval skills (no idea if they actually matter since I think I remember reading inspiration being the most important if not only valuable stat for a leader) but anyway, no stat was neglected just in case and best possible other stats while keeping inspiration as high as I could.

(in reply to rms1pa)
Post #: 3
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 5:32:38 PM   
pontiouspilot


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All CVs in a single TF??

Good detection levels on Allied TFs?

Generally speaking what did Allied land-based planes do?...ie what were they and how did they perform?

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 4
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 5:43:11 PM   
Lecivius


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If I recall correctly, KB does not suffer coordination penalty. Am I incorrect? I don't play the Evil Empire, so I'm not certain.

(in reply to pontiouspilot)
Post #: 5
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 5:59:33 PM   
Endy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pontiouspilot

All CVs in a single TF??

Good detection levels on Allied TFs?

Generally speaking what did Allied land-based planes do?...ie what were they and how did they perform?


1. I tried all versions, one huge KB, up to 4 groups of around 250 planes each.

2. 10/10 detection, planes flying search from nearby land bases (Ndeni) + full CS of float planes and also TBs on 10% search. To be sure, I also set all bombers for 10% search later on but it did nothing and my opponent always reported 10/10 detection except one time of extreme overcast but no flights happened then for obvious reasons

3. The Allied planes were set on LRCAP over the Allied BB TF and perhaps CAP from bases a few hexes away. Generally around 100 fighters, maybe slightly less always showed up to counter my attack (first wave anyway in case of fragmented strikes). BElow is an example which had quite a few of my fighters in the air, others, with less fighters suffered terrible losses when the CAP tore through escorts.

I'm sure that affected the bomber performance in the attack, but the big unknown for me is why so few bombers from KB even bother to fly (it has over 600 DB and TBs combined)... Do you think it's because of the CAP and the squadrons don't attack because of it? The same did not happen in some other fights I had however, especially not in CV fights before where I managed to get decent results and squadron participation in strikes. This is why it's so strange for me because it's also very different from earlier game performance and I have no idea what's going on, what is the influencing factor here or what I'm doing wrong...

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 94
A6M5c Zero x 23
B6N2 Jill x 13
D4Y4 Judy x 26

Allied aircraft
Spitfire Vc Trop x 7
P-40E Warhawk x 17
P-40K Warhawk x 31
P-40N5 Warhawk x 28
F4F-4 Wildcat x 10
F6F-3 Hellcat x 9

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5 Zero: 5 destroyed
A6M5c Zero: 1 destroyed
B6N2 Jill: 2 destroyed, 6 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 2 destroyed by flak
D4Y4 Judy: 12 destroyed, 1 damaged
D4Y4 Judy: 1 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
Spitfire Vc Trop: 1 destroyed
P-40K Warhawk: 4 destroyed
P-40N5 Warhawk: 1 destroyed

(in reply to pontiouspilot)
Post #: 6
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 8:09:27 PM   
Skyros


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Would need to know how your groups are set up, % CAP, Search etc.

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Post #: 7
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/22/2015 8:45:22 PM   
Endy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyros

Would need to know how your groups are set up, % CAP, Search etc.


As for fighters, I originally had them split between squadrons on 100% CAP 0 range and squadrons only flying escorts at max range, which proved to be a successful tactic before for me. Then, during our tests, I once even had all the squadrons set to escort only and none on CAP, just to see if this would help by providing extra cover for the bomber strikes but alas it didn't.

As for bombers, we tested different ranges, but most commonly 5 or 6 hex range (at which distance was the enemy BB TF) for every bomber group in KB, TB squadrons originally 10% search, with additional search provided by land and ship based (also from CS) float planes. DB squadrons were originally set only to naval attack and 0% search, then I checked if giving them some search value (10%) would help but nope, having all bombers in KB on 10% search did not work either so I'm assuming DL was not an issue.

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Post #: 8
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 1:37:30 AM   
spence

 

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If for a moment one were to let reality intrude into your Japanese delusions of grandeur you might consider that the game has never reflected actual Japanese doctrine which would halve all strikes by the IJN since each "strike carrier" in a division would launch all its dive bombers OR all its torpedo bombers in any particular wave (as to putting any IJN CVEs into any sort of offensive grouping that is entirely a creation of this game).

The USN in 1945 managed a couple of "thousand plane raids" from their CVs but that was after the vast majority of the IJN was functioning as fish sanctuaries. Coordinating the near simultaneous launch and amalgamation of massive raids is even now an enormous undertaking beyond the capabilities of almost any staff that has more than one problem to solve.

But in game terms maybe you have exceeded the max limit of 400 sorties (forgot the name of it but there is some form of coordinating penalty that mostly applies to the US) from a single TF that applies to even the Japanese.

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 9
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 2:19:31 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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I am the opponent in this game.

The crux of the matter is that we know from the AARs from others, that it is possible to get much larger coordinated strikes. And we are trying to figure out the hows and whys. Any help is appreciated.

(in reply to spence)
Post #: 10
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 5:49:55 AM   
Endy

 

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Well Spence, I thought about what you said, and I specifically split the carriers into 4 TFs and tested this way just to see if that changed anything and the results did not change really.

Also, like Battlemoose mentioned, larger strikes are definately possible as seen here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2900582&mpage=77&key=
Koniu managed to send an almost 300 fighter and 500 bomber strike, and that from 2 CV TFs.

Although, that was against an enemy CV TF. And I seem to recall that against CV TFs my strikes were better coordinated and larger too, but perhaps I'm looking for any possible reason now (and ones that don't make much sense) and the kind of enemy TF does not affect raid size or fragmentation? I seriously have no idea what's going or why only around 25% of my planes are active and some squadrons, quite a few actually, just sit there on the carriers. What's also strange is that even if participation among TBs is quite low, it's the DBs that mostly get squadrons 5-7 of them, that did not take part in the raid at all - at least I assume so since they still have full planes, no fatigue, no xp gained last turn etc.



Here's a quote from that AAR, and I seriously wish I could have a similar raid going on..


quote:



Morning Air attack on TF, near Kofiau at 79,106

Weather in hex: Heavy rain

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 16,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 36 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A7M2 Sam x 291
B7A2 Grace x 237
D4Y4 Judy x 247

Allied aircraft
F4U-1A Corsair x 28
F4U-1D Corsair x 47
F6F-5 Hellcat x 135

Japanese aircraft losses
A7M2 Sam: 1 destroyed
B7A2 Grace: 37 destroyed, 21 damaged
B7A2 Grace: 2 destroyed by flak
D4Y4 Judy: 34 destroyed, 14 damaged
D4Y4 Judy: 3 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1A Corsair: 1 destroyed
F4U-1D Corsair: 1 destroyed
F6F-5 Hellcat: 5 destroyed


(in reply to BattleMoose)
Post #: 11
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 7:39:24 AM   
LoBaron


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Range 5-6 is long range. There are situations where massive strikes can materialise at that range or more, but you are already suffering from range penalty as a factor.

10%/0% search is low, even more at that range. Recommend you up the percentage to 30-40% and again scale down from there depending on the results you get.

High DL after battle does not tell you anything. What you see is the DL that has been increased by every single strike. It is very common that a TF that suffered an air attack has 10/10 DL although it only had very low DL after the search phase.

CS as search platforms for float planes have a distinct disadvantage that IMHO is often underestimated by IJ players: The float planes have low cruise speed, so there is a chance that they spot targets too late to impact AM strikes. How big that chance is also depends on range to target, which is high in your case.

What targets - besides mentioned BB - were in the TFs? Strike size is also a result of the estimated target type/number combination. Low to medium priority targets, enhanced by bad naval search, has a negative impact on strike size.

Weather: What does 'decent' mean? Not 'Thunderstorm' does not default to decent.

Did you check your altitude settings? I assume yes, but there is no hint in your posts.


Besides all of the above, and what the others posted, a satisfying analysis could only be done by checking the save. And as spence pointed out, well coordinated perfectly executed strikes at range are possible. But that does not make them common. Less when there are other factors negatively influencing the strike.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

If I recall correctly, KB does not suffer coordination penalty.


KB does suffer a coordination penalty.

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Post #: 12
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 7:46:02 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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We have tried a number of different iterations so far. To try and construct the "easiest" scenario for a coordinated strike. We really just want to satisfy ourselves that such a strike is possible. We know other people have achieved it, but we cannot seem to replicate it here. Increasing the search parameters is something that we can try. But, the TFs are in range of land based search anyway, for a lack of other things to try I expect we will explore that.

The taskforce in question, we moved all others way to make things easier, is a SAG, 7 BBs with attendant escorts, 25 ships total. One would hope that qualify's as a high priority target.

We can also try moving the TFs closer together.

< Message edited by BattleMoose -- 4/23/2015 8:47:45 AM >

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RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 9:26:09 AM   
Endy

 

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Alright, we'll try moving the TFs closer to each other and I'll also up the search a bit, and perhaps move some more search planes to nearby bases. But I recall a lot of search hits even before strikes so I doubt there's a problem knowing the target's there, but we'll try of course. I understand your meaning about float planes, however then PM strikes should be better then right?

Altitude is set for 15k for every plane in the TF.

As for weather, sorry for not elaborating, but there were really a lot of tries and only weather like thunderstorms or extreme overcast made the results worse. Other cases, the weather varied from clear to heavy rain, but the strike numbers were same-ish with little variation, but of course strike results were mostly different as usual in Witp (hard to hit something in bad weather which is understandable).

We'll experiment a bit more then.

By the way, I seem to recall the year in the game influences the max number of carrier planes to not suffer a penalty. Since it's 1943, can that be a factor? Or does that only influence the max number of planes in a single TF before they suffer a penalty? But the planes should take off anyway right? Like I said, it's not so much about fragmentation, because I'd understand that (that's a lot of planes to coordinate after all) but we're curious why some planes would not fly at all despite all that's described in the situation. Having only around 25%-30% of the bombers attack such a juicy target (unless it isn't?) while the others are..chilling apparently...just seemed a bit strange for us.

< Message edited by Endy -- 4/23/2015 10:26:27 AM >

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Post #: 14
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 10:47:58 AM   
guytipton41


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From: Houston, TX
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Hi Folks,

Based on one pbem almost completed, the game will never, well hardly ever (*), send an alpha strike at a non CV TF. Me and the Japanese player's rationalization is that the overall air commander always keeps back enough aircraft to counter a strike from a (currently unseen) enemy CV TF. Very frustrating at times, as usually the strike is sufficient to neutralize the target, while you as overall commander wanted it vaporized.

Cheers,
Guy

(*) Apologies to G&S.

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Post #: 15
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 11:08:26 AM   
Endy

 

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Hmm, that actually sounds quite plausible and would explain a lot...Does anyone else have similar experiences and could confirm that "full out strikes" only happen agains enemy CV TFs?

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Post #: 16
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 1:09:53 PM   
Lowpe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: guytipton41

Hi Folks,

Based on one pbem almost completed, the game will never, well hardly ever (*), send an alpha strike at a non CV TF. Me and the Japanese player's rationalization is that the overall air commander always keeps back enough aircraft to counter a strike from a (currently unseen) enemy CV TF. Very frustrating at times, as usually the strike is sufficient to neutralize the target, while you as overall commander wanted it vaporized.

Cheers,
Guy

(*) Apologies to G&S.


I have seen this over and over again. +1


(in reply to guytipton41)
Post #: 17
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 2:16:10 PM   
Endy

 

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And I think we just confirmed it. Decreasing range did not change much, but look what happened when 2 CVEs were attached to the BB TF:

AM raid:

quote:


Raid detected at 118 NM, estimated altitude 20,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 39 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 369
A6M5b Zero x 54
A6M5c Zero x 49
B6N2 Jill x 215
D4Y4 Judy x 314


And PM raid:

quote:


Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Vanikoro at 121,145

Weather in hex: Light cloud

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 17,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 26 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 365
A6M5b Zero x 53
A6M5c Zero x 48
B6N2 Jill x 189
D4Y4 Judy x 310



So it appears that enemy CV/CVL/CVEs are the only real strike magnet, otherwise a lot of planes are kept in reserve just in case this kind of threat shows up. CV commanders won't commit fully to crush other targets in range, even if this is a juicy BB force. But once the enemy has even one CVE/CVL/CV in the TF then it's an all out attack. At least that seems to be the case according to our tests.

Thank you for pointing us to this mechanic guys and for your help!


< Message edited by Endy -- 4/23/2015 3:35:53 PM >

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Post #: 18
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 4:57:54 PM   
Lowpe

 

Posts: 4543
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Now destroy all the enemy CVs and see if you get a massive strike on BBs.! Just kidding.

Might be interesting to see if you get a massed strike versus APAs, however.

< Message edited by Lowpe -- 4/23/2015 10:25:56 PM >

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RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/23/2015 10:03:23 PM   
bigred


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quote:

Well I would like to enjoy some torpedo hits and Japanese bombers. So no DBB.



from the opponent wanted forum.

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RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/24/2015 6:36:48 AM   
Endy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bigred

quote:

Well I would like to enjoy some torpedo hits and Japanese bombers. So no DBB.



from the opponent wanted forum.


So you suggest is only in DBB and not vanilla that the full carrier strikes go only if there is at least one CV/CVL/CVE in range? Would be nice to get a confirmation, perhaps I'll do some tests later as well.

As for carrier presence required, we tested and it and just the presence of a single CVE in hex was enough to trigger and draw a full, well coordinated strikes from KB, otherwise "reserves" will be kept and ony some bombers will fly.

If this is a base game mechanic thing, then it's a pity that it's not in the manual (unless it is and I'm blind, than I apologize...), since many players probably just blame poor bomber strike attendance results on TFs other than air combat ones on bad luck, weather, a thousand other possible factors, without realizing that the solution is as simple as lack of presence of an enemy carrier of any type in sight. I guess many Jap players were wondering why their wonderful plans to crush an Allied surface fleet or invasion with a well aimed KB strike failed and blamed it on something totally different than it actually was...

I love the game, but there are so many things that you can only find out during actual gameplay and sometimes not without testing a lot that it can make any kind of in-game planning very difficult. This is especially for new/averagely experienced players, and you'll be making lots of very bad or inefficient moves because there is often no way to know this kind of stuff, unless you discover it by accident/read on the forums etc.

< Message edited by Endy -- 4/24/2015 7:57:15 AM >

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Post #: 21
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/24/2015 7:26:11 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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I think the previous comment was mainly in reference to the increased efficacy of AAA in DBB.

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Post #: 22
RE: Question about CV planes attack numbers - 4/24/2015 7:41:06 AM   
Endy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BattleMoose

I think the previous comment was mainly in reference to the increased efficacy of AAA in DBB.


Ah, I misunderstood then :) Thought that perhaps DBB changed something in attack patterns depending on enemy fleet composition. We only tested in DBB after all, so I started wondering if that's just exclusive to the mod or a hard coded thing.

< Message edited by Endy -- 4/24/2015 8:41:32 AM >

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