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T35-T36 - 4/4/2018 6:37:55 AM   
loki100


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T35-T36

Short report for these turns as heavy rain over the UK meant I rested all the UK based airforces. Starting to re-organise the air OOB for the invasion of France.

So 9 Air and 2 Tac Air start to take shape for the next stage (almost all the FB are now trained as bombers apart from the Mosquitos in Tac Air that are operating as escorts for the bombers). Hopefully as the weather improves I can use the LB in those formations to take out the v-weapons and rail net in France. I'll also divert some Halifaxes from BC to assist.





VP situation on T35 reflected the recent fighting in Italy.



And the Italian front on T35. I've suspended my offensive in Lazio as I want to rest and I'm happy if the Germans decide to make their front line the open fields rather than up behind the Arno. On the Adriatic pushed up so that the landing is secured and planning a similar operation further up the coast. I'll keep attacking with 7A (weather permitting) to try and exploit the disruption caused by that invasion.



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Post #: 91
T37 - 4/4/2018 5:06:29 PM   
loki100


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T37

Back to rain in the UK so can bomb again. Good thing after 2 weeks rest is I have a lot of bombers – bad thing is I have a lot of targets as the VP situation reflects my enforced holiday.



Bomber Command split into two groups. Usual night raid by the Lancasters over the Ruhr was devastating in places.



The Halifaxes did a day raid (protected by a FC AS mission) to take out the v-weapon launch sites in the Netherlands, plus rail and ports. Not too bad, but would have liked more damage of the v-weapon sites.



Tac Air went for NE France and a mix of launch sites, rail yards and ports. Some raids far better than others.



9 Air used its bombers to hit Cherbourg. Not bad but think they need more practice.



I split 8 AAF into three separate raids each with allocated bombers. This was meant to take out PzIV production but was probably the least effective raid I have ordered.



This was aimed at the V-weapon production – think I needed far more planes than I allocated.



Now that is nice (unless you lived in Scheweinfurt). Nothing left to hit by the time they returned for the second raid.



15 AAF carries on bombing the Italian rail net.

Overall another very bad week for the Luftwaffe. The aggressive AS sweeps seem to have made a real difference.



More ground action in Italy. 7A managed to break the German line and exploit a fresh tank division up to Ancona. I flew in a Paratroop regiment to help the spearhead (this is a trick I like to use a lot – seems a better use of paras than actually dropping them).

On the west, 5A managed a small breakthrough, potentially threatening a small pocket (could have sealed it if the first attack had worked).



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Post #: 92
T38 - 4/6/2018 11:08:47 AM   
loki100


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T38

Last turns attention to the v-weapons has reduced that source of lost VP. Unfortunately more heavy fighting in Italy is shedding VP in that respect – but at the moment this is probably worthwhile.



Strategic air war keeps to usual pattern. Elements of 9 Air, BC (the Halifaxes) and 2 Tac Air hit rails, ports and v-weapons in NW Europe. Rest of BC and 8 AAF over the Reich. 15 AAF taking out the Italian rail and port network.

FC is running AS over NE France and the Low Countries. P51s still hunting over Germany. Some of 15AAF fighters are doing an AS over central Italy.

8 AAF is proving to be rather frustrating. Concentrated on just 2 targets but got no decent results over either. This was primarily meant to take out AFV production and while its nice to hit the Stugs my desired target was the PzIV production.



Also went for the industry and fuel around Hannover – to little effect. I think I'll try to bomb at lower altitudes and see if that helps.



On the other hand 9 AAF contributed by taking out the Belgian rail net and knocking down the Antwerp truck production.



BC had a week by the sea – Hamburg not the Ruhr. Ok but not really that effective.



The Halifaxes went for Le Havre – I want this and Cherbourg knocked out completely before the invasion. Will repeat next turn.



2 Tac Air went for the Paris region. I fear someone is going to have to explain one of those raids to De Gaulle.



Italy. Took some empty hexes on the west side. The bypassed German units on the Adriatic proved to be annoyingly resiliant but Ancona will be a functioning port next turn.



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Post #: 93
T39 - 4/7/2018 7:48:57 AM   
loki100


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T39

Bombing VP (ie bombing- v weapons) is still positive so I'll leave the v-weapons alone for the moment. Pattern of bombing much the same as last turn.

Bomber Command's main raid was the eastern edge of the Ruhr. It is much more effective when it can find the target.



The Halifaxes remain twinned with Le Havre. That should leave the port out of action by the time of the invasion.



US 15 Air did the usual tour of Italy but I also decided that Vienna was nice at this time of year. Not that effective a raid by the B-17s.



8 Air I decided to bring back into a single force, still trying to knock out the Pzr IV production. Still missing.



9 Air hit the Sedan region – only target was the rail net.



Tac Air struck the rail net to the south of Paris. Someone needs to go and apologise to De Gaulle again.



And life was busy in Italy.

And frustrating.

The AI counter-attacked on the Adriatic coast and managed to break open the pocket. Due to its – slightly annoying – ability to move from pockets it then mostly escaped.

Now I think it rather overdid all this as for the first time its badly deployed defensively. My original plan was to hold back the offensive north of Lago Bolseno for a few more turns but I was facing a weak regimental screen. Also the main tank units had 45-50MP – this was key as I want to exploit not just force the Germans back.

The resulting offensive featured a paratroop drop (regimental), another regiment of paras being flown into a captured airbase.

Also another brigade sized landng planned south of Rimini. Unfortunately, this one is going to be contested but hopefully its only a weak FZ unit. If it succeeds, that landing will cut all the rail links from N Italy to the main German combat formations.




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RE: T39 - 4/9/2018 4:57:42 PM   
Chuske


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Wow, big breakout and cut off all the AIs supply. Nice work!

Have you done much transferring of air units between the Med and UK, or have you continued pretty much with what you started with in each? Will you make a big air move back to UK soon to support D-Day?

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Post #: 95
RE: T39 - 4/9/2018 7:17:59 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

Wow, big breakout and cut off all the AIs supply. Nice work!

Have you done much transferring of air units between the Med and UK, or have you continued pretty much with what you started with in each? Will you make a big air move back to UK soon to support D-Day?


I find the key in Italy is to have the patience to allow your Arm/mot formations to regain 40+MP. If you don't then at best you push the AI back and perhaps force it to retreat to an even better defensive line. Most players would abandon all of Tuscany south of the Arno denying you the chance for any real mobility but you need to have the tools to take advantage - not least as you can never create a ZoC free gap in the front to move through.

I moved about 8 Typhoon formations to the Med once I had taken Sicily. About 4 of those went back to the UK a few turns back. More generally as I've been converting FB-F to FB I've deployed those that started in the Med to the UK (mostly) so I guess in total there has been a net shift to the UK but not dramatic.

I'm actually in a bit of a mess in Italy. Most games by now the most pragmatic solution is to leave only a minimal offensive force as you won't get much more - this is assuming the front is along the Appenines that is nearly impossible to breach. Then the balance can go to form the force for the invasion of S France and mostly back to the UK.

I've done the easy stuff of sending some of the heavier artillery SUs etc back to the UK. I like to form up one US corps with all the allied heavy guns and then use that as a sort of coastal fortress busting formation - in conjunction with the naval guns. But I have at least one UK Corps (ideally XXX) and about 3 armoured divisions in Italy that I usually have in the UK. My fear is running out of troops in France as once you break out, covering the flanks and being able to retain a strong offensive force is always a challenge.

Been spending the last few turns, trying to work out solutions to this - I can pull 2 US armoured formations and the corps out and I think that will have to do.

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Post #: 96
T41-2 - 4/9/2018 10:03:51 PM   
loki100


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T41-2

T41 was heavy rain in NW Europe so rested all the UK based airforces. Despite this still kept a positive bombing score (ie bombing – v weapons) but overall losing a few VP due to the intensity of the Italian battles. I guess I should be happy the Axis is trying to attack but its costing me a lot of losses.

So situation in Italy at the end of T41. Have reinforced the latest landing and managed another small breakthrough in S Tuscany. As usual the AI has slipped out of the looming pocket but I've still trapped some units.



T42 back to bombing. 8 AAF went for Berlin and in particular the rail depots there. Lowered the altitude and added an extra day.

Much better results (if true), taking out those rail depots should really hamper German supply movements.



9 AAF did its part in the 'ports and rails' tour of NW Europe. NE France and W Belgium were visited this turn.



Bomber Command carried on doing what it does best – hit the Ruhr.



While the Halifaxes moved onto Dieppe.



2 Tac Air went for the rail net to the west of Paris. Another letter of complaint is received from De Gaulle.



And Italy after T42. Lots of German attacks but I was content just to occupy some vacant hexes and let the armour rest.

Another brigade invasion is in preparation, this time to the north of Rimini.



As mentioned in my response above – I have too many ground units still engaged in Italy. The possible reward is a clean breakout into the Po valley in 1944. The concern is this diversion is going to badly weaken my offensive in France.

Invasion plans. All 4 landing groups are now ready so its a case of waiting for better weather – usually mid/late May. A secondary invasion is in preparation aimed at the Netherlands. I like this target as it tends to pull off German units and also gives you airbases that you can use to put the P51s anywhere over the Reich. Its not going to lead to a breakout but for a commitment of a corps HQ and 4 divisions you can often pin down a larger German force.

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RE: T41-2 - 4/10/2018 4:06:31 PM   
Chuske


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I guess it depends how badly beat up the AI is. HarryBanana's AAR (altho with much older ruleset) he wore the AI down so much in Italy that it was easier to land in France. So Italy can be war winning or losing or neither.

So I guess the question is can fighting on with large number of divisions deliver you enough profit in terms of weakening the AI vs weakening you for the upcoming battle in France. Unless I was sure I would pull out key units and just slog in Italy to the Arno line with what is left.

That pic suggests AI is strong near Rimini but weak in Tuscany, so one more push could get you up to the Arno then maybe you can fortify there and then pull out more units to refit in UK ready for a breakout in France?

I'm just starting a campaign (first one in awhile and first with the beta). Wondering how you are setting up your ground attack and recon ADs, i terms of raid size/intensity an number of days flying. My last game with the last full (non-beta) patch I struggled to keep both recon and FB-Bs flying as any AD intense enough to achieve anything in terms of recon or interdiction caused a lot of fatigue/morale loss. Also do you assign groups to ground support or just keep it on auto? I've never really felt I sussed the right balance between support and interdiction and unit attacks particularly in Italy, in France I'm usually heavily favouring interdiction.

< Message edited by Chuske -- 4/10/2018 7:51:10 PM >


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RE: T25-T26 - 4/11/2018 3:12:41 AM   
Gunnulf

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

T25-26

Second option is to split the landings around Le Havre. This is a bit of an odd choice but my logic is that you will not take Le Havre easily (but you can isolate it using Paratroops). You'll have to abandon one of your landing ports (too much naval attrition from Le Havre) but otherwise you are to the east of the Seine but well placed to take the Brittany ports and Paris


Sounds like utter madness and folly to me! One would have to be some sort of deranged jibbering lunatic to try to pull that off!! ;)

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RE: T25-T26 - 4/11/2018 7:24:24 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

I guess it depends how badly beat up the AI is. HarryBanana's AAR (altho with much older ruleset) he wore the AI down so much in Italy that it was easier to land in France. So Italy can be war winning or losing or neither.


Yep that is more or less my analysis . This could pay off, could lead to the usual stalemate along the Arno-Gothic Line or see units I really need in France bogged down in Italy.

I don't think the AI is reinforcing Italy with fresh units. So while I am costing it replacements - and the occasional destroyed formation - its not pulling out of France. My gamble is this fighting, plus the bombing strategy, leaves their Pzrs etc in France as powerful but very fragile - and not easy to repair once damaged

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske
So I guess the question is can fighting on with large number of divisions deliver you enough profit in terms of weakening the AI vs weakening you for the upcoming battle in France. Unless I was sure I would pull out key units and just slog in Italy to the Arno line with what is left.

That pic suggests AI is strong near Rimini but weak in Tuscany, so one more push could get you up to the Arno then maybe you can fortify there and then pull out more units to refit in UK ready for a breakout in France?


Its actually shifting a lot between the two coasts. In its turn it ran down its forces in the east and reinforced in Tuscany - but it also stopped trying to eliminate my latest bridgehead.

I think my backstop position is if all this effort simply generates the usual stalemate, I can start to pull out in June and then those units can either land in S France or form fresh reserves for France - for the moment, the lure of the Po valley means I've decided to stick with more in Italy than I have used in past games

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske
I'm just starting a campaign (first one in awhile and first with the beta). Wondering how you are setting up your ground attack and recon ADs, i terms of raid size/intensity an number of days flying. My last game with the last full (non-beta) patch I struggled to keep both recon and FB-Bs flying as any AD intense enough to achieve anything in terms of recon or interdiction caused a lot of fatigue/morale loss. Also do you assign groups to ground support or just keep it on auto? I've never really felt I sussed the right balance between support and interdiction and unit attacks particularly in Italy, in France I'm usually heavily favouring interdiction.


In Italy I find you have such a mix of units that its hard to be very precise with your airpower. So in the main I'm accepting the auto-allocation and running an interdiction and GS mission with each of the tactical air forces (I'm using the old Malta command as it helps keep an Adriatic/Med split to my air allocations.

But yes, unless I do one hex interdiction, I struggle to get much over 4 and usually less. Not helped by all the rough terrain in Italy so I regard the interdiction as simply making things that bit harder for the Axis. You can't isolate the entire front line as you can in France.

Its this sort of stuff, plus thinking of a strategic bombing strategy, that makes WiTW both so appealing and enjoyable vs the AI. Its the sort of resource allocation, planning, evaluation stuff that I find enjoyable ... now if only the game needed the application of Bayesian statistics I'd be completely content

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunnulf


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

T25-26

Second option is to split the landings around Le Havre. This is a bit of an odd choice but my logic is that you will not take Le Havre easily (but you can isolate it using Paratroops). You'll have to abandon one of your landing ports (too much naval attrition from Le Havre) but otherwise you are to the east of the Seine but well placed to take the Brittany ports and Paris


Sounds like utter madness and folly to me! One would have to be some sort of deranged jibbering lunatic to try to pull that off!! ;)


Yep, almost as insane as constantly attacking up the Adriatic Coast?

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Post #: 100
T42 - 4/11/2018 7:27:27 AM   
loki100


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T42

No action in Italy this turn – I want to rebuild the MP of my mobile units before thinking of attacking again.

Air strategy was partly influenced by an annoying increase in lost VP due to v-weapons



So I split 8 AAF into two groups. The main raid was around Leipzig, lots of fuel and HI VP and I've not bombed that region.



Second group had a trip up the Baltic with the single focus on v-weapon production. That should close them down for a while.



The P-51s continue to dismantle what is left of the Luftwaffe. I've also sent two P51 formations to Italy as there are some high experience Italian fighter formations causing me heavy losses. Would quite like to damage them as I think they will struggle to replace any losses.



BC did its usual 2 centre raids. Main attack was on the region to the south of the Ruhr.



The Halifaxes continued to concentrate on one port at a time – this time Den Haag. Hopefully that removes the v-weapon site there as well.



The Italian rail net shows as badly damaged so shifted 15 Air back in S Germany. This was designed primarily to hit the Pzr IV production.



9 AAF continues to attack the French rail net – this time the Americans can deal with De Gaulle's complaints.



Tactical Air continues to bomb NW France



< Message edited by loki100 -- 4/11/2018 7:30:35 AM >


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RE: T42 - 4/11/2018 5:31:50 PM   
Chuske


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How many days of the week do you generally fly recon? Do you also fly to the altitude limit of their cameras (ie 36k for high recon etc)?

What is the date now? I'm guessing turn 42 is spring 44, around April?



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RE: T42 - 4/11/2018 7:52:51 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

How many days of the week do you generally fly recon? Do you also fly to the altitude limit of their cameras (ie 36k for high recon etc)?

What is the date now? I'm guessing turn 42 is spring 44, around April?




I usually run it for 6-7 days .. tend to rest on D7, so they do build up a lot of fatigue as a result. In the main I find the auto assign routine does a good job of matching camera to altitude. Key is not to mix planes with only a low level camera in the same AD as those with only a high altitude camera.

I control this in the UK by placing the low altitude only planes into the US transport HQ. In Italy, low level are spread between Malta and Tac Air and all the high level cameras go to Strat/15 Air.

Next turn (43) is 22 April, so I guess we are about 4 weeks off the invasion of France. Its all ready so simply need to make sure the planes are resting, double check the command structure and SU allocation and ...

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Post #: 103
T43 - 4/11/2018 7:56:41 PM   
loki100


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T43

I'll shorten the bombing info for a few turns. In particular I'll ignore 9 Air and 2 Tac Air as their level bombers are basically moving across N France and Belgium trying to dismantle the rail net and wreck the ports. The Halifaxes of BC carry on supporting this by taking out a major port each turn with a dedicated raid.

Over the next few turns. I'll take BC off night bombing in the Reich and use the Lancasters for hitting the transport network. At that stage 9 Air and 2 Tac Air will simply have a nice long rest till the big day arrives.

Specific to BC went for Hamburg. I have no idea why I persist in thinking this is a good idea as outside the recon bonus over the Ruhr its all hit and miss ... with far more miss. This is part of the reason why I pull BC back into France while still using 8 AAF for strategic bombing.



8 AAF went to Berlin again. Those rail yards are the core of the axis logistical effort.



15 AAF going for the medium tanks at Steyr.



And lots of fun in Italy. All the motorised formations were in the 45-50 MP range and there were some weak spots in the German front line. So broke out, almost took Florence and a paradrop hopefully has secured a bridgehead over the Arno.

Destroyed the few German units I'd bypassed in the last offensive.

Depending on the AI response that either gives me the breakout I've been seeking or they will manage to stall everything along the Arno.



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T44-45 - 4/12/2018 8:40:27 AM   
loki100


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T44-45

T44 was heavy rain in the UK so rested all the UK based airforces.

15 AAF did a mix of railyard bombing in Italy and was explictly told to only hit the tank production at Steyr. Seems they listened ...



Busy on the ground. The AI is determined to maintain its offensive on the Adriatic. I actually need to reach that invasion site or will need to evacuate (the TF is at 60% damage).

One of the few turns where the tactical bombers had a GA-unit mission. All of Malta Air hit the defenders of Florence and Tactical Air those next to Pisa. The result was that both defending units collapsed when attacked (lots of disrupted elements so very little real combat power), giving me Florence and meaning I can take Pisa and Lucca.

Since I seem to be stalled on the Adriatic, coming to the stage where I may suspend active operations in Italy.



T45, kept 2 Tac and 9 Air on resting. Pulled BC off the Reich and it did daylight raids on ports and rail yards across France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

8 Air split into two raids. Main one was at Braunschweig (ideally this should have hit the v-weapons).



Secondary raid to take out the larger v-weapon factory in the Baltic region.



15 AAF swapped target to Ulm, again some damage to the v-weapons. Reason for this is after the invasion of France you have to suspend the strategic air war. Every bomber is needed to ensure you break out as easily as possible.



Situation in Italy. Note the AI is still causing me misery on the Adriatic. I committed the 3 Armoured divisions I had in reserve and it took them 3 attacks to break through – and I couldn't exploit as a result.

On the Arno, took Siena (Pisa was abandoned) and managed to push up to the mountains. Again the bombing was 'unit' so my tactical airforces in Italy are now in a complete mess.



Gives some idea of the amount of fighting.



And the extent it is costing me VP. My hope is the city VP will increase to compensate.



Now, I have a big decision. Next turn the weather in France is clear and the ground is dry. The tactical airforces are well rested.

I've not done the final pre-invasion allocations of SU and commanders but if I do that before running T46 it will not have any adverse effect.

I do have a lot of FB due to return over the next couple of turns (those I have been converting to FB from FB-F).

There is a risk that this is a one turn weather window which means I could get caught out (limited air support, reduced attack values and higher naval attrition). But a landing in France in mid-May offers some real advantages.

The Strategic Air War is in a good place. Most of the bigger v-weapon sites are well bombed and I'm running at +4 per turn. 3 or 4 turns concentrating on France will worsen this but I have a lot of damage stacked up in my favour.

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RE: T42 - 4/15/2018 3:14:23 PM   
Chuske


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

How many days of the week do you generally fly recon? Do you also fly to the altitude limit of their cameras (ie 36k for high recon etc)?

What is the date now? I'm guessing turn 42 is spring 44, around April?




I usually run it for 6-7 days .. tend to rest on D7, so they do build up a lot of fatigue as a result. In the main I find the auto assign routine does a good job of matching camera to altitude. Key is not to mix planes with only a low level camera in the same AD as those with only a high altitude camera.

I control this in the UK by placing the low altitude only planes into the US transport HQ. In Italy, low level are spread between Malta and Tac Air and all the high level cameras go to Strat/15 Air.

Next turn (43) is 22 April, so I guess we are about 4 weeks off the invasion of France. Its all ready so simply need to make sure the planes are resting, double check the command structure and SU allocation and ...


I've been experimenting and for strat recon I found that setting the required aircraft to 1 seems to help a lot and I still got a lot of recon coming in.

Obviously if you worry about getting intercepted or ops losses then you might try a higher number of planes to make sure you get a camera over the target but I think the key here is the AI sends too many recon planes (often a whole squadron of 12) to strat recon just one hex. This is a massive waste of resources.

It also helps if you are using big box ADs, as often, with auto panes per raid, you'll find that only the AD top of the list gets any sorties flown unless you specify squadrons to specific ADs.

So for example I had RAF flying 3 recon ADs to match bombing mission ADs I was flying, over 4 days of the week.

With AI allocation I found I flew recon on only 1 AD with 40 hexes photographed, 469 sorties and 8 losses.

If I specified 1 plane per raid I found I flew recon on all 3 ADs (altho first AD got more raids at 40 compared to 8 for the other 2) with 56 hexes photographed and 56 sorties and 1 loss.

Fatigue also went from 20-50 range to 0-20.

Question is it is hard to tell if 1 plane was getting good quality strat recon with only 1 camera/plane flown per raid. I guess only way I can do this is to load up the game as the German side and compare actual damage to reported from recon.




< Message edited by Chuske -- 4/15/2018 3:42:57 PM >


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Post #: 106
RE: T42 - 4/15/2018 3:54:54 PM   
Chuske


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Getting v.interesting in your campaign. I would halt in Italy, N.France is where you can win this one I think, you've done well in Italy, but I can't see what else you can achieve there now?

One thing puzzles me is why you switched to unit bombing?

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RE: T44-45 - 4/16/2018 3:53:24 AM   
cfulbright

 

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I disagree with Chuske about shutting down the Italian campaign. You're so close to breaking into the Po Valley, which will cause many good things to happen. Axis will retire about ten hexes from the current line.

Cary

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RE: T42 - 4/16/2018 8:42:48 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

...

I've been experimenting and for strat recon I found that setting the required aircraft to 1 seems to help a lot and I still got a lot of recon coming in.

Obviously if you worry about getting intercepted or ops losses then you might try a higher number of planes to make sure you get a camera over the target but I think the key here is the AI sends too many recon planes (often a whole squadron of 12) to strat recon just one hex. This is a massive waste of resources.

It also helps if you are using big box ADs, as often, with auto panes per raid, you'll find that only the AD top of the list gets any sorties flown unless you specify squadrons to specific ADs.

So for example I had RAF flying 3 recon ADs to match bombing mission ADs I was flying, over 4 days of the week.

With AI allocation I found I flew recon on only 1 AD with 40 hexes photographed, 469 sorties and 8 losses.

If I specified 1 plane per raid I found I flew recon on all 3 ADs (altho first AD got more raids at 40 compared to 8 for the other 2) with 56 hexes photographed and 56 sorties and 1 loss.

Fatigue also went from 20-50 range to 0-20.

Question is it is hard to tell if 1 plane was getting good quality strat recon with only 1 camera/plane flown per raid. I guess only way I can do this is to load up the game as the German side and compare actual damage to reported from recon.



I tend to find that the best protection for the recon missions is an AS (if you can reach), but unescorted they are fairly safe. If you are running them at 30,000', then you are well above any German fighters.

I use two very different patterns. If I can, I like to keep one 9 hex wide mission going with a focus on my typical targets (manpower, HI, trucks, AFV, v-weapons). This gives me a very rough overview and some idea where things are repairing. But its very unreliable both for what you can see and for bombing. It tends to have Detection Levels of 1-3.

So the rest fly tightly defined recon missions in direct support of that weeks bombing raids. I guess this is more tactical in that the goal is to raise DL so as to improve the accuracy of bombing and of target selection.

I tend to find that just using the wide area missions is unreliable and the low DL affect bombing.

It is informative to flip sides to get a feel for the accuracy of your missions every now and then. Best done in turns when the weather closes everything down but it is one way to work out the various feedback loops in the game system.

Worth stressing here for anyone new. Even if you play with FoW off, you still need recon to improve DL - this will feed into both the ground combat model and the effect of bombing.


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(in reply to Chuske)
Post #: 109
RE: T44-45 - 4/16/2018 8:52:46 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske
One thing puzzles me is why you switched to unit bombing?


I tend to regard it as inefficient, you take more flak/op losses for the damage you inflict, but the damage is immediate.

In this case, the AI has only managed to protect two key hexes with regiments, but I know that next turn it will stack substantial forces there. Grabbing Florence and Lucca more or less end the rewards to be gained from an offensive up the West coast of Italy.

So what I wanted is those two regiments with lots of damaged/disrupted elements now. Add in that regiments struggle to deal with multi-divisional attacks in any case and my hope (which paid off) was to take the 2 key hexes.

I have a lot of low morale air formations as a result and can't sustain it. So I agree that 90% of the time, stick to interdiction but there are times when you want your air power to deliver a direct blow.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuske

.... I would halt in Italy, N.France is where you can win this one I think, you've done well in Italy, but I can't see what else you can achieve there now?



quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

I disagree with Chuske about shutting down the Italian campaign. You're so close to breaking into the Po Valley, which will cause many good things to happen. Axis will retire about ten hexes from the current line.

Cary


To me, the remaining prize in Italy is twofold.

I've often pushed across the Alps from S France and that tends to gain you Turin but then the AI stops you (its very hard to commit enough units to concentrate for even weak attacks). If I can complete my Adriatic adventure, a second option opens up. First I can cut the road back to Germany for any Axis units, second, I might be able to complete the liberation of N Italy. That is a lot of VPs.

Add on, if I can move the AI out of the mountains, even a low level campaign starts to work in my favour. I'm pretty sure the AI has not reinforced Italy for a while so the units I am facing are degrading under pressure (and claiming resources from the German pool). So my hope is that I can carry on using Italy as a source of pressure on German resources - but that depends on taking Ravenna and breaking out into the lower Po region.

... whether I can actually do that is the gamble but as of next turn I am moving some units from 5A to 7A to reinforce a final attempt while pulling the rest of 5A back for an invasion of S France in July/August.

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Post #: 110
T46 - 4/16/2018 8:57:17 AM   
loki100


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T46

So ...

Clear skies this turn and promised for next



I'm a bit unprepared as I have a lot of FB due to arrive over the next few turns. On the other hand they can be useful to allow me to keep up the tactical air war effort.

Bombing VP are not too bad so can leave the Reich alone for a few turns.



So its probably a good idea?

I'll describe my approach to setting up the air on the invasion turn in some detail. First no conventional strategic bombing by 8 AAF or BC. BC goes for the port/rail network. Take off all the long range fuel tanks and go for as high a conventional bomb load as you can manage. Some of 8 AAF joins in.

Basically that should flatten the remaining rail yards and take out Cherbourg (Le Havre is alread in ruins).

FC and the P-51s fly AS over the main invasion zones and – importantly – over the sea to prevent any loss of naval interdiction.

As a side note, if you face high interdiction, dropping an AS mission on the region will degrade enemy interdiction levels.

Allocate about 25% of the Tactical Air forces to GS for the 2 invasion corps.

So to the GA.

Basically I use the 2 engined bombers on a 'unit' mission (9 AAF and 2 Tactical Air) to hit the coastal hexes. I then use the FB to generate a conventional interdiction zone reaching back a few hexes.

Since I flew no recon last turn I am a bit blind but can use information I gathered the turn before (which was pretty good). The result is I suspect there are 3 Pzr divisions in the likely invasion zone, so each gets a GA-unit raid from 8 AAF. In the event, 2 of these hexes were empty but the final one caught an SS formation. In any case, each of these one hex raids also had the rail yard as a secondary target.



Italy is still active (sort of). On the Arno I'm now re-organising to defend. My tanks were driven back so I'll take what I have.

5 Army will start to reorganise to invade S France.

On the Adriatic, I still think there are opportunities. Lots of Axis attacks, and I failed again to reach the beach-head.

Basically this, plus a S France landing still gives the chance for a big pocket – or more likely just to secure all of N Italy.



Few charts, just to pick up some recent trends. VP have mostly been neutral. The one good turn was one where no action took place in Italy.



Shows how deadly the P-51s have been over Germany. Lost planes as such are no real issue for the Germans, the lost pilots are irreplaceable.



Here is the interdiction pattern during the German turn resolution. My paras dropped successfully protecting the landings to the east of Le Havre.

Overall its not as good as I like (the price of attacking early) but I think that any attempt to move through that will shred any German units.



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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 111
RE: T42 - 4/16/2018 10:01:54 PM   
cfulbright

 

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I never use Auto to assign air groups to number of planes per mission. I always specify which groups and how many planes (and escorts), and have very few cases where missions don't occur. When that happens, it's either 1) weather, or 2) mismatch of target type (e.g., specifying U-Boat as the target in Berlin where there isn't a U-Boat factory).

Roger - I completely agree with you about only using 1-3 recon aircraft per target, certainly for strategic recon.

What level of challenge are you playing?

Cary

< Message edited by cfulbright -- 4/16/2018 10:09:20 PM >

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 112
RE: T42 - 4/17/2018 2:56:22 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

I never use Auto to assign air groups to number of planes per mission. I always specify which groups and how many planes (and escorts), and have very few cases where missions don't occur. When that happens, it's either 1) weather, or 2) mismatch of target type (e.g., specifying U-Boat as the target in Berlin where there isn't a U-Boat factory).

Roger - I completely agree with you about only using 1-3 recon aircraft per target, certainly for strategic recon.

What level of challenge are you playing?

Cary


Ah yes, forgetting to alter the priority target is my favourite mistake ... then wondering why nothing happened.

I tend to set an area, look at the targets and use a ratio of planes:targets to get the number of missions. So say I have 600 planes, 3 days and 4 viable targets, then I'll tell it to fly 3 missions a day - by the end of the bombing sequence each target should have been hit 2-3 times by around 200 bombers. Its good enough for say BC. Equally I'm sometimes very precise and pedantic about which planes go over which target.

Using challenging.

I find it gives a good vs AI game but at the same time you don't need to obsess over every detail (hence the use of auto-allocation for air missions etc).

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Post #: 113
T47 - 4/17/2018 2:59:16 PM   
loki100


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T47

Position after the landings. Allocated the two Mulberries. Germans drove back my British paras but otherwise not many attacks. The units they sent into the high interdiction look battered.



VP situation is predictable after last turn -27, all the result of combat losses.

Focus is on maximising air effort, I'll sort out the mess later. So anything >45 morale and <20 fatigue flies.

In NW Europe, bulk of 8 AAF hits depots and ports in Brittany and Normany, BC goes for the Belgian-French border region.

Also divert a chunk of BC to help keep control of the sea lanes. One problem with Le Havre in the middle of my landing sites is it generates quite a lot of attrition – even when bombed out.



GA missions as last turn. Basically the larger groups are designed as interdiction, the single hex attacks are using 2 and 4 engined bombers for unit attacks.



Produced a decent interdiction spread. Given the levels around Argentan, I think I can risk pushing inland off the eastern beaches. The west has to stay on the defensive for now.



So, took Caen and hopefully gained some space on the beaches. The stack at sea is 2 British armoured divisions,



Italy, lot of thinking as to what to do but in the end decided on my last brigade landing. Basically all this is set up to protect what will be a very vulnerable landing.



Interdiction pattern is good, risk is that units pulled back from Rimini will be able to attack without passing through too much interdiction.



Situation in Italy.

Basically 8A is now set up as a defensive force. 5A is pulling out and preparing for S France. For now I've left a corps of mobile units attached to 5A behind the front just in case the AI weakens.

Dropped 2 para brigades. One to improve my chances of holding the bridgehead (I can do this using the 8 hex rule so its not in support of a naval landing). The other is a suicidal drop designed to slow any German units pulling back from Florence.



If the landing fails then I'll go over to the defensive in Italy and see what I can gain from the S France landings.

With hindsight I should have set this one up as a conventional divisional assault and allowed that the time to prepare. Hindsight is incredibly useful.

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Post #: 114
T48 - 5/2/2018 7:46:23 AM   
loki100


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T48

Apols for slow posting, things keep on happening .

Problem of course is you open the save file and have to try and remember what you were doing.

VP situation is dire – expected as this is one phase where ground losses escalate and strategic bombing is suspended.



France

All squardrons with 45 or more morale are flying, ignoring fatigue for now.

All bombers still supporting the landings. Elements of BC and 8 AAF have wrecked almost every rail yard in Northern France and Belgium. Other segments are doing ground attack-unit bombing on particularly juicy targets. This, plus the interdiction, is paying off as there are some Pzr divisions with 15 or less useable tanks (going by the combat results).

Am using FC over the naval zones, naval interdiction also being generated by Lancasters using the naval load out.

Tac Air and 9 AAF generating interdiction over the landing zones, especially to the west of the Seine that is still deadly, Tac Air is bit more battered so less effective.

Good thing was 8 fresh FB formations returned from retraining this week so that will help for next turn.



Anyway, managed to use that high interdiction to my benefit. Attacked to push back German units so they suffered even more losses on retreat. 2 British Army now has armour ashore, US tanks just arriving.



Italy.

Bombing aimed at port and rail net.

The brigade landing was a mistake – even if I got away with it. One Para regiment destroyed but that was designed as a sacrifice, the other scattered on landing and, fortunately, ended up in the chosen invasion hex. If this hadn't happened I suspect I would have lost both the Paras and the landing.

The high interdiction levels probably saved me – both Axis attacks ended at 1.8-1.

Landing site now reinforced with 2 divisions.

7A not making much progress so its all a bit of a mess.

5A pulled back now for S France. Keeping the armour north of Rome just in case of an emergency or an opportunity but it will move to the ports fairly soon.



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Post #: 115
T49 - 5/7/2018 7:31:27 AM   
loki100


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From: The wilds of Caithness
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T49

Trying to keep as much in the air as I can, so anything with 50+ morale is told to get on with it. Have rested those with 20+ fatigue (there comes a point here where its just creating operational losses).

The result was to weaken the interdiction generated by 2 Tactical Air but 9 AAF was more effective.

Since I have pretty much wrecked the rail nets in France and N Italy, decided to restart the attacks on the Reich.

I do, rather, need the VP;



Result was 3 effective raids. BC at night over the Ruhr.

BC is also still helping out with naval interdiction and doing some unit bombing



8 AAF around Hamburg – I forgot to reset the pattern of days so I fear that is going to leave me needing to rest quite a lot next turn

Still bombing selected hexes as well



15 AAF around Vienna



Fighting in France. If anything I feel I am on the defensive but am slowly building up. The British sector has some depth – but also has less air support (tactical air).



Italy. Landings north of Ravenna just clinging on. 7A made some useful gains and ought to reach the outskirts of Rimini next turn.



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Post #: 116
T50 - 5/7/2018 7:49:23 PM   
loki100


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From: The wilds of Caithness
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T50

Last turn's small gains and return to strategic bombing at least slows the loss of VP



So keep some strategic bombing going. 8 AAF goes for the Braunschweig region – primary target was meant to be the V2 factory but they chose to ignore my instructions



15 AAF went for the medium tank production at Steyr. If this is right 3 out of the 4 Pzr IV factories are knocked out which must hinder the ability of the Panzer divisions to recover their losses



BC did two mission, hit the Netherlands – ports and railyards as these are mostly intact



And the Rhineland



Now I have a 4 division invasion of the Netherlands fully prepared. Recon suggests little resistance other than the fortress formations.

But – I can't risk it till Le Havre is in my hands ... it is costing me a lot of naval supply attrition. And I am running short of interdiction capacity. 2 Tactical Air is battered, 9 AAF still producing a lot of interdiction (on the east of the Seine in the US 1 Army sector). I've also just converted some resting P47s to the P47-25 ... which has a quite awesome load out for interdiction missions.

With Le Havre, I can spare some naval interdiction ... possibly the Lancasters I am using. I might be able to spare some portion of 9 AAF.

Or I am better focussed on the main landings.

1 US manages a breakout and the specialist US VIII Corps (lots of heavy artillery and engineers) storms Le Havre.



On the other hand the Germans shifted their attacks to 2 British Army. Am driven back and lose my safe area. Low interdiction means I am not well protected.

So to quote Uncle Joe (well actually it was Mick Jones) 'should I stay or should I go'?



So to Italy. 8A found a weak spot in the German defences and managed to juggle around to attack and take another city. 7A failed to reach Rimini in fighting more like WW1 than my troops would like. Situation north of Ravenna is grim but the naval artillery just about saves the day.



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Post #: 117
RE: T50 - 5/7/2018 7:56:10 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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They are really making you unwelcome outside Ravenna eh?

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Post #: 118
RE: T50 - 5/8/2018 6:08:54 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunnulf

They are really making you unwelcome outside Ravenna eh?


Aye that landing is a magnet for the AI and since I am only winning using the bridgehead rule my losses are substantial.

Need to think about abandoning it as it seems as if 7A has reached the end of its possible gains

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Post #: 119
T51 - 5/8/2018 6:10:27 AM   
loki100


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T51

Think I am finding a few problems that come from my (over?) emphasis on Italy. Mainly a feeling of a lack of reserves in the UK. I often find the French front gets very strung out making it hard to concentrate but that is usually once I am close to Belgium.

Linked to this is the feeling that the Italian campaign is probably over.

So I might start to strip down 7A to send some formations to the UK. 5A I'll keep as it is as it needs a certain power to take Marseilles (a critical port), advance up the Rhone and move into northern Italy.

Started to generate naval interdiction off Den Haag etc.

US air forces held a re-union over Southern Germany. Both 8 and 15 Air struck a range of targets in the region.





Bomber Command's strategic effort was aimed at the northern edge of the Ruhr. Other elements continued to bomb the rail net in the Netherlands and NW Germany



France.

Situation for 2 British Army remains desperate. Its basically pinned along the coast. Fortunately 1 US Army has less opposition and managed a decent break out. Juggling formations to bring in as much as I can.

At the moment I am holding back the Free French mobile units (shifted from the Mediterranean) to see what happens in the Netherlands but they can be slotted into this sector if I need to.

The relative success of the two armies matches the relative success of the two airforces. 2 Tactical Air has less than 50% of its planes available, 9 AAF is still using 900 FB for interdiction and the 2 engined bombers for unit attacks.



Italy. At last, and bloodily, 7A reaches the outskirts of Rimini. I'm not sure it is going any further so will re-organise and rest.

Unexpectedly 8A carries on making small gains – its all targets of opportunity but the recent gains means that Empoli now functions as a proper depot (cleared of ZoC).




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