Allied Air Force Air Guide 42’ to ’43.
B-17D: Excellent plane. I like to use them on turn 2 to launch a surprise attack on Cam Rahn bay. Most JFB don’t even consider the possibility of said attack and don’t bother to fly cap over CRB. If there is no HR about attacking ports with allied 4E planes, come in at 2,000 feet. Lots of tankers there. After that attack, switch these planes down to Palau and strike that port. The CAP there tends to be Nates so don’t worry. After those attacks I withdraw these planes to Australia or Rangoon. Your call. Only fly them though from level 5 or above bases to keep OPLOSSES low.
B-17E/F: Through most of ’42 this is your most important and effective plane to strike back against the Empire till the B-24 makes its appearance. Most should deploy to Australia and operate out of Townsville as the Empire advances on Papua and Port Moresby. Staff them with your best EXP/AIR pilots and your losses will be low, thus your striking power high. I don’t fly them in combat till mid-August of ’42 when the squadrons upgrade from 8 planes to 12 and the Australian air fields are at level 6 and 7. Usually small strikes of less than 20 planes result in little damage to Japanese AFs and I want my strikes to devastate the Japanese, not irritate them. You’ll also need the spring and early summer to train the fighter pilots who man the Fortress in bombing practice to raise that skill. There is nothing a generation 1 Japanese planes can do to effectively stop an unescorted B-17 E/F raid if the raid is carried out at effective range with pilots Exp/Air in the 60s and 70s. The Japanese planes don’t have the armament to stop them at this stage of the war. Currently, in my game I have lost only 1 B-17F in A2A combat and 18 to OPPLOSES after a year of combat with the B-17F. Less than a 25% loss rate for one year of sustained combat.
P-38E: Single-use planes. Use them only as high-altitude sweepers and nothing else. They are as rare as hen’s teeth and their high service rating ensures that if damaged they will be grounded for a long time. If you use them as escorts for the B17s they’ll get bounced and their effectiveness as a sweeper diminished. Man these squadrons with your best fighter pilots and you can use them at extended range as they will always get the bounce in ’42 and their losses will be low. I don’t introduce them into the S.Pacific till I start my great B-17 offensive August and by that time I have 2 squadrons of 38Es. I first use them to sweep the Japanese base then the following turn I send in the B-17s. In August you’ll get the F version of said plane, but with a production run of only 80 planes over 2 turns you’ll have only enough for two more squadrons. As with the B-17s, only use them-if at all possible- from level 5 or above fields to reduce OPPLOSS.
B-25D1: Again, this is in my opinion, a single-use plane. They are exceedingly deadly in attacks against shipping and know no peer. In some circumstances they can be used against air bases, but they almost always take flak losses due to their low altitude. But why but them in harm’s way, lose valuable pilots, when a B-17/24 strike can be more effective against an airbase? My advice is, after filling them up with fighter pilots, train them In LowNav attack. Grab a base near Balikpapan and stock said base with these deadly naval attack planes, and shut down all traffic to Balikpapan. If Balikpapan doesn’t have much AAA then go ahead and fly these planes in low against the oil there. Aside from rare circumstances such as valuable targets with little AAA, save them for naval strikes against convoys. Do not use them against CA/BB groups though-they will get slaughtered and their bombs cannot penetrate the armor on said warships. You can, by using the editor, keep this plane in production by stopping the factory from switching over to the inferior B-25G. I suggest doing so as the G model has a reduced range and an inaccurate 75 mm cannon in place of the 6 .50 cal machine guns that make the D1 model so effective.
P-40E/K. This is your main-line of defense in ’42. They really only get the chance to sweep in Burma as the distances are too great in the S.Pacific. Use them as CAP for B-17s bases or LR CAP for American CV groups or convoys near contested islands. The K is a great plane, and when manned with good pilots with Air/Exp in the 60s to 70s they can even stand up to the Japanese George. Till a valuable target presents itself, have these planes flying CAP or training all the time. If they aren’t doing front-line duty, switch out the pilots with in the 60s and 70s for a fresh set of pilots. You need a very large pool of experiences Air/Exp pilots to man your heavy bombers so don’t grow too attached to a particular squadron in the rear.
Buffalo/P-26/P-35/P-36. Do not deploy these planes to the front. You need these planes to train pilots for your bombers. As soon as you get to Air/Exp of 60s to 70s return the bunch to the reserve pool and then get them into some bombers to build up their ground bombing skills. Till your grand August of ’42 bombing offensive begins most of your fighters should be training pilots. It’s not exciting, but it is a strategy that pays dividends in the future.
P-39. Not a terribly effective plane, but I use them in ground attack after their Air/Exp skills hit the 60s. Deploying them as ground attack fighters will increase that skill. Using them against Japanese units in the jungle though tends to be a waste of time though as their bomb-load is a mere single 500 pound bomb.
B-24D/D1/J: This is the plane that will turn the tide of the war for you in ‘43. Only man them with high experienced pilots and pilots with good Air skills. Only fly them from level 6 or 7 fields with lots of air support present. By the time they appear in force you should have them fitted-out with your best ground bombardment skills. It isn’t till the George appears that you have to worry about penetrating any Japanese air defense. Fly them at 7,000 feet and above and you’ll suffer few AAA loses and keep them at normal range. Only fly them at extended range in good weather, from a good air base, against targets with little or no fighter protection. Make sure they are led by your best squadron commanders. Using these planes for anything other than strategic bombing, suppressing airfields or hitting Japanese troop concentrations in the open is a waste. The combination of these planes working with P-38 sweeps is unstoppable-till the George arrives that is in the summer of ’43. If there is a critical target with George CAP you can first hit the base with B-24 night raids than have the ‘38s sweep after a few days of bombing, weather permitting.
B-25C: Best used as a level bomber at 7,000 feet. If you fly low you will fly with 50% reduced bomb-load. Why bother unless the target has little AAA protection? You have a lot of these units so they can be effective in hitting Japanese bases in Burma with Hurricane protection.
Hurricanes: Use as CAP and from a well-provisioned base with drop-tanks sweepers. Always sweep a base before sending your B-25s and B-17s into harm’s way. These are great little planes.
Pago-Pago: If you are going to fly B-17s and B-24s from Pearl to Australia I suggest using Pago-Pago as a base. As soon as possible, move some engineers from the CONUS and Pearl to Pago-Pago and build up that AF as soon and as high as possible. If you attempt to stage to Pago-Pago with only a level 2 field you will experience many OPPLOSES. Also, I’ve noticed that the more planes on Pago-Pago when staging will result in higher OPPLOSES. So get some air support there and only send and base one unit at a time until that base gets to be 4 or larger.
1. P-38s are sweepers only. Man them with your best pilots and use best commanders.
2. The war is won with Bombers bombing targets. Don’t fritter away your heavy bombers on non-essential targets like naval strikes or troop concentrations or fly them at extended range (unless lightly defended). Man your heavy bombers with your best pilots after you have done so with your P-38s.
3. Only fly your bombers from level 5 or higher bases to reduce operational loses.
4. Have plenty of air support at Bomber bases.
5. Try not to use islands as bases for your bombers. The wise Japanese player looks for this opportunity to bombard the Island and destroy/damage your bomber fleet. Only do so if the island is defended by a strong naval force. This is hard to do in ’42 as usually KB is around.
6. Don’t fly any bombers with pilots less than Air/Exp less than mid-50s. Train, train, train. The best bomber pilot used to be a fighter pilot.
7. Don’t commit forces till you can hit with overwhelming firepower. 50 to 60 B17s or B24s will close a Japanese port or airfield with one strike and their high numbers will greatly reduce your loses to Gen 1 Japanese fighters, including the Tojo which lacks the cannons in ’42. Even the Nick 45 struggles to deal with said massed bomber strikes.
8. Fly at 7,000 feet to 10,000 feet for day-time attacks. 5,000 feet to 6,000 for night attacks.
9. Submarines in a target hex will pick up downed pilots.
10. When the Japanese get the George only fly escorted and at normal range or below unless you’re certain your target is undefended. Or fly at night.
11. “Nothing kills like over-kill”. Hit the enemy with X>40 planes with each strike on a strategic target, port or airfield. Don’t nickel-and-dime the Japanese. Sweep with 2-3 P-38 squadrons-attached to the same HQ. Bomb with 4 or 5 bomber squadrons-all attached to the same HQ and you'll put 400 bombs on target.
12. B-25s should only be used for low-naval attacks, unless bombing an airfield or strategic target at night.
13. The best bomber pilot is a former fighter pilot.
14. Recon your targets one or two days at most before launching B-17/24 strikes.
15. Train, train, train.
16. Don’t over-stack a airfield.
17. Always, if possible, base P-38s and B-17/24 on bases with railroads to transfer beat up squadrons to safer, rear-areas.
18. Only use British bombers for night bombing.
< Message edited by Rusty1961 -- 12/17/2017 8:58:13 PM >