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Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 12:29:34 AM   
sandman2575


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So, I've done a fair bit of searching these forums and trying to soak up various bits of wisdom. Despite all that, I simply cannot get decent ground interdiction results.

From what I've read -- FBs are your best interdiction aircraft. Particularly when outfitted with rockets. So, your Thunderbolts and Typhoons should be your best options.

My own experience suggests this is certainly true. 2E and 4E bombers are generally pretty rubbish at interdiction, completely wasted in the role (though this is *not* the case when it comes to Railway or Naval interdiction -- just talking ground-unit interdiction here).

Here's what I do: I set Recon to Interdiction "High" -- often Days 1,2,3,_,5,_,7. Priority "High." Use 1 Recon AC per sortie, flying as many sorties over the course of the week as I can.

Set FBs to Interdiction = High, usually Days: _,2,3,4,5,6,7. Priority "Normal." Altitude = 15,000. Highly concentrated strikes -- maybe 6-10 hexes, max. Usually try to get in 2 strikes per Hex per day. So, talking upwards of 1,000 FBs for these kinds of interdiction Air Directives.

Generally, I get 3-4 interdiction/Hex at best. My FBs get completely chewed up by AA. They take a huge beating. And for what appears to be very little benefit.

I've tried many different combinations -- and this is the best results I can get. And it just does not seem worth the price I'm paying in terms of lost FBs.

Suggestions for better Interdiction results very much appreciated!
Post #: 1
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 9:36:32 AM   
apd1004


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In this screenshot you can see the hex circled has 5 interdiction. I used just the 2 groups of A36 Apache (86th Fighter Group and 27th Fighter Group) with the 2 x 500lb bomb loadout, i.e. - no drop tanks. They had a couple groups of Spitfire Vb escorts, but otherwise that was it for the AD. Medium intensity on days 4-7, so they struck it twice a day with 24 total aircraft per strike not counting escorts. You can see out of the 8 total strikes they lost a total of 13 aircraft, all due to 88mm flak since there was no LW interception. Some of the losses were from the escort. There was also a recon AD over the area but it was not a dedicated interdiction recon. As you know, those two groups are 75 aircraft each at 100% TOE, but they still only flew 24 per strike. I don't fly any groups with less than 70 morale and less than 75% ready aircraft. Interestingly, the 86th flew 6 out of the 8 strikes while the 27th only flew 2. After the strike, the 86th only had 21 serviceable aircraft and 39 damaged, and their morale was sitting at 11. The 27th was a bit better off.



My experience (just a few weeks owning the game now) has been that to get the big interdiction numbers (5+ interdiction) you have to create an AD just for the hex you want to see high interdiction. In that case, it doesn't take a lot of aircraft to get decent results.

Now that you have raised this as a question, I am now intrigued and as a test I may go back and re-run this mission using different parameters (different aircraft/loadouts/intensity/altitudes/etc).

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 10:33:27 AM   
loki100


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some ideas (which you may already be applying):

a) if you want interdiction scores make sure its the GA-interdiction mission you are using not GA-unit. I realise this stating the obvious but we all sometimes forget (after all I've just run a night intruder AS mission set to daytime - and lost a lot of NFs as a result);
b) As you say GA-interdiction is not that good done with 2E bombers (but GA-unit is). Having said that, esp in Italy, you probably will use them due to a lack of anything else - and the slightly unbalanced Allied air force in the Theatre;
c) I've tended to find the US A-series to be very fragile, the final version that turns up in 1945 is robust but the two earlier ones not so. No idea if this is historical but I do find its a case of use them once, rest them for a while;
d) If its really interdiction then think about your target hexes, you are trying to cut supply lines and the channels by which units retreat or advance (I'll come to France 44 below). So quite often, hitting empty hexes is the business - if you look in the AAR I'm currently posting up I'm doing interdiction in Calabria but above the axis defensive line. Done it for 4 consecutive turns, high levels of interdiction on some hexes, low losses to me;
e) There are times when you want the interdiction on units - especially if you suspect they are set up for reserve reactions. This is very typical after your French invasion, fortunately by then you have a lot of FBs (and good ones), so do it but you will see a rapid loss of morale leading to the effort slackening. Its essential, but its akin to spending 6 months savings on a very good night out down the pub ... and the hangover will last a while too ;
f) you might also want interdiction on unit if you think they are going to retreat or to pin them. In testing WiTE2 this is a good tactic with the Soviets, you can effectively pin a Pzr division or two by setting interdition on it - its safe if it doesn't move, but of course the Axis side want to move it. I've done this sometimes in WiTW to effectively pin a nasty stack of SS Pzr units - again the price is damaged planes etc so its hard to sustain;
g) I think of interdiction as the most cost-efficient tool you have, but its a slow feedback loup. This fits with the comment above, I usually try not to bomb where there are units, so avoid flak and the payback is in terms of isolating a sector of the battlefield;
h) don't ignore the impact of terrain and weather. Interdiction is best over clear hexes in clear weather - once you start having to hit hilly hexes you will tend to get stuck around 4 - but remember even 4 causes friction, it also adds +1 MP onto unit and freight costs. So in Italy generating level 7-9 is hard, you lack the overall airforce the terrain protects the ground side (as it should).

Edit: A test I did that convinced me of the value was to play the Breakout Scenario, left hand vs right hand. Its the easiest way to see both the direct impact if you move a unit under high interdiction and the longer term impact on receipt of supplies etc. Really recommend doing 3-4 turns of this, its very informative.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/15/2018 10:37:17 AM >


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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 6:14:24 PM   
cfulbright

 

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To follow up on Loki's comments, which I agree with:

1. If you fly 2x times a day, your FB's will be fried for at least the next turn. Save that for only the most important, urgent, or desperate situations.
2. The A-36 Apaches are very fragile, as he says. I swap them out for P-47's as soon as I have the spares.
3. Press Shift-O twice to see where enemy flak is heaviest. Don't send FB's into hexes that have 9/9 or even 7/6 flak ratings. Use the B-26's and Wellington's for that.
4. I read a year or so ago on this forum that the effectiveness of rockets had been significantly reduced. Can anyone confirm that?
5. Between 1000lb bombs and twice as many 500lb bombs, I did tests that show the 1000lb bomb loadouts are much more effective, including with FB's, B-26's (which I prefer to the B-25), B-25's B-17's, and B-24's. I believe that's because the 1000lb accuracy is 50, whereas the 500lb accuracy is 25.
6. If you're playing against a human, using the LB's against either Railways or Railyards works. But against the AI bombing Railways doesn't work because of the way the AI uses "teleportation" and other tricks. So either use the LB's against Railyards or have them do interdiction from 19K' or higher against
those heavy flak targets.
Cary

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 4
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 7:30:28 PM   
apd1004


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

...
4. I read a year or so ago on this forum that the effectiveness of rockets had been significantly reduced. Can anyone confirm that?...

In patch V1.01.01 (30 Sept 15) it says accuracy of air to ground rockets reduced. I can't speak for the before/after since I've only had the game a few weeks now.

This is some great info, guys. Saves searching for it. Thanks

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Post #: 5
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 8:20:34 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: apd1004


quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

...
4. I read a year or so ago on this forum that the effectiveness of rockets had been significantly reduced. Can anyone confirm that?...

In patch V1.01.01 (30 Sept 15) it says accuracy of air to ground rockets reduced. I can't speak for the before/after since I've only had the game a few weeks now.

This is some great info, guys. Saves searching for it. Thanks


aye, in the early builds they were the weapon of choice and far too powerful. Think the current situation is better balanced, they are useful but equally there are times when you want your FBs to be armed with bombs instead.

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/15/2018 9:19:40 PM   
bomccarthy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright
2. The A-36 Apaches are very fragile, as he says. I swap them out for P-47's as soon as I have the spares.


Something to keep in mind throughout the game - "A-36 Apache" was the USAAF's dive bomber name for the early P-51. In other words, the P-51 will be just as fragile as the A-36 in the ground attack role. The A-20 and A-26 were actually light level bombers (and the A-26 should probably be thought of as a medium bomber with a very heavy payload but only so-so range). In real life, the USAAF found that it most capable fighter bomber in the ground attack role was the P-38 - it carried the same payload and had better performance than the P-47 at low and medium altitude.

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 12:11:36 AM   
sandman2575


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Great tips, all -- appreciate it.

I still don't see how you can get those legendary fields of "9s" across several hexes.

And I've primarily been using Interdiction to try to affect Reserve activations, though I'll be damned if it seems to have any effect whatsoever. And doing this of course means I have to Interdict stacks of enemy units -- and the Panzer (and esp. SS-Panzer) formations decimate my Thunderbolt & Typhoon squadrons. They're loaded with AA that just rips 'em to shreds.

Given how static the AI 'walls of 3-stacked units' are defensively, I don't see how I can use Interdiction against 'empty' hexes and have it make any difference. The Panzers aren't rushing to the Normandy beaches and crossing these Interdicted hexes. They're already there from the get-go, and dug in deep, and armed to the teeth with AA.


quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright
6. If you're playing against a human, using the LB's against either Railways or Railyards works. But against the AI bombing Railways doesn't work because of the way the AI uses "teleportation" and other tricks.



Please, please don't tell me Railway interdiction is pointless against the AI. If so, I've wasted a hell of a lot of time setting up Railway interdiction ADs. I also bomb Railyards with strat. bombers, but my main effort besides unit interdiction has been railway interdiction, hoping this will choke off supply. Is this really wasted effort?

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 5:53:22 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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Once the Panzers are here, there is not much you can do. Get to the trenches and break the lines. Try to use the infantry divisions as much as possible.

But having interdiction just BEHIND the hexes your are targeting WILL make the reserve activations pay to get there. Not sure you can track how much damage was done.

It also hampers supply and destroying trucks, leading german mobile units to be depleted of trucks at some point.


But back to first point : you have to interdict BEFORE the enemy gets in. Which is why you want to have maximum air effort in the invasion turns and the turns just after it.

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 6:46:40 AM   
cfulbright

 

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quote:

Please, please don't tell me Railway interdiction is pointless against the AI. If so, I've wasted a hell of a lot of time setting up Railway interdiction ADs. I also bomb Railyards with strat. bombers, but my main effort besides unit interdiction has been railway interdiction, hoping this will choke off supply. Is this really wasted effort?


That was the response from Joel Billings when I asked him. I'd been doing the same.

Cary

(in reply to sandman2575)
Post #: 10
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 6:48:27 AM   
cfulbright

 

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quote:

Please, please don't tell me Railway interdiction is pointless against the AI. If so, I've wasted a hell of a lot of time setting up Railway interdiction ADs. I also bomb Railyards with strat. bombers, but my main effort besides unit interdiction has been railway interdiction, hoping this will choke off supply. Is this really wasted effort?


Use LB's to bomb railyards all across France for the three turns before D-Day. Save the FB's until the turn before D-Day and the turn of, when you should use them to interdict behind your invasion beaches.

Cary

(in reply to EddyBear81)
Post #: 11
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 7:26:14 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bomccarthy


quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright
2. The A-36 Apaches are very fragile, as he says. I swap them out for P-47's as soon as I have the spares.


Something to keep in mind throughout the game - "A-36 Apache" was the USAAF's dive bomber name for the early P-51. In other words, the P-51 will be just as fragile as the A-36 in the ground attack role. The A-20 and A-26 were actually light level bombers (and the A-26 should probably be thought of as a medium bomber with a very heavy payload but only so-so range). In real life, the USAAF found that it most capable fighter bomber in the ground attack role was the P-38 - it carried the same payload and had better performance than the P-47 at low and medium altitude.


thats interesting to read ... I'd already worked out by trial and error that the P-38 is good in the ground attack role. I used to keep them as FB-F due to their range but started using them as FB from late 1944 due to the reduced need for escorts etc.

As ever, its fascinating to see how well the game mirrors the real war.

Must admit, I've always kept the P-51s as fighters, even towards the end you need something to protect your bombing raids and they dominate the Luftwaffe.

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 3:20:27 PM   
cfulbright

 

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Let me amend what I wrote about the A-36 to suggest you swap it out first for the P-40, which can carry 3x500 lb bombs, compared to only 2x500lb bombs for the P-47D, until the P-47 can carry 1000lb bombs.

Cary

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 3:27:15 PM   
sandman2575


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

quote:

Please, please don't tell me Railway interdiction is pointless against the AI. If so, I've wasted a hell of a lot of time setting up Railway interdiction ADs. I also bomb Railyards with strat. bombers, but my main effort besides unit interdiction has been railway interdiction, hoping this will choke off supply. Is this really wasted effort?


That was the response from Joel Billings when I asked him. I'd been doing the same.

Cary



Not clear to me though why bombing Railyards is worthwhile against the AI but bombing Railways is not? Don't the Railyards just provide the rolling-stock capacity to move freight/supply along the railways? If the AI doesn't use the Railways for this purpose, why would it matter if they have intact Railyards or not?

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 3:29:19 PM   
sandman2575


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EddyBear81

But back to first point : you have to interdict BEFORE the enemy gets in. Which is why you want to have maximum air effort in the invasion turns and the turns just after it.



This is something I did not take enough to heart in my current campaign -- in my next, I'll make sure I don't forget.

I agree that it would be nice if the game gave the player some kind of feedback on the effects of interdiction.

(in reply to EddyBear81)
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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 3:40:01 PM   
cfulbright

 

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This is what Joel Billings wrote some months ago:

"That answer as always is not completely clear. The AI does trace movement along rail hexes and thus will be slowed or damaged by usage and interdiction on rail lines. Movement is likely to be least effected though due to certain cheats. Gary says freight might be more impacted. His feeling though is that bombing/interdicting railyards, especially those with depots, is the best way to make the Axis pay but I certainly can't prove that."

Cary

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 8:05:42 PM   
BK6583

 

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Reference #5 below: Are you sure about this? This blows away what I read from the tutorials that for GA interdiction, more bombs was always preferable to achieve the best interdiction results. Looks like I'm going to have to change a whole lot of load outs if what you discovered is accurate.
quote:

ORIGINAL: cfulbright

To follow up on Loki's comments, which I agree with:

1. If you fly 2x times a day, your FB's will be fried for at least the next turn. Save that for only the most important, urgent, or desperate situations.
2. The A-36 Apaches are very fragile, as he says. I swap them out for P-47's as soon as I have the spares.
3. Press Shift-O twice to see where enemy flak is heaviest. Don't send FB's into hexes that have 9/9 or even 7/6 flak ratings. Use the B-26's and Wellington's for that.
4. I read a year or so ago on this forum that the effectiveness of rockets had been significantly reduced. Can anyone confirm that?
5. Between 1000lb bombs and twice as many 500lb bombs, I did tests that show the 1000lb bomb loadouts are much more effective, including with FB's, B-26's (which I prefer to the B-25), B-25's B-17's, and B-24's. I believe that's because the 1000lb accuracy is 50, whereas the 500lb accuracy is 25.
6. If you're playing against a human, using the LB's against either Railways or Railyards works. But against the AI bombing Railways doesn't work because of the way the AI uses "teleportation" and other tricks. So either use the LB's against Railyards or have them do interdiction from 19K' or higher against
those heavy flak targets.
Cary


(in reply to cfulbright)
Post #: 17
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/16/2018 8:24:17 PM   
cfulbright

 

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The following is what I posted in Oct. 2016. Perhaps weapons ratings have changed since then.

Cary

Has anyone come to any conclusions on what aircraft loadouts work best against infantry and armor? I did a small test:

- Allied aircraft in Feb 1945 (fair weather, late-war loadouts available including napalm for P-47D-25's)
- Target one infantry unit and one armor unit
- Use ~100-150 aircraft per mission
- Fly 1/3/5/7 days of week, at 11K altitude, area size=0, one mission per day, all AC requested
- Compare defensive strength before and after air phase

Because I wanted to test the P-45D-25's napalm loadout, I used a game I had played that went into Jan. 1945. The German units are generally weak, so that might weaken the findings. Also, the sample size is small.

My findings:

1. Fewer larger bombs are generally more effective than twice as many larger bombs (probably due to much higher accuracy rating)
2. Against infantry, GP bombs are more effective than rockets
3. Against armor, rockets are roughly as effective as bombs
4. Incendiaries, including the P-47D-25's napalm, are least effective against both infantry and armor

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has looked at this.

Cary




Attachment (1)

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/17/2018 7:37:13 PM   
BK6583

 

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Apologies - I should have been more specific. What are the best load outs for interdiction ADs?

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/17/2018 10:34:26 PM   
GeneralDad

 

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I have been following this thread with interest since I too have had trouble with interdiction. My results are starting to get better - but I just use the air directives and let the AI decide which groups and loadouts to use. In the Normandy breakout scenario I have lost 125 planes each the first two turns, 136 the third because I flew air freight over some flak to solidify a pocket of 7 German divisions. The interdiction missions appear to have slowed and distorted the German retreat enough that I was able to close the pocket.

Sandman2575, how many aircraft are you losing per turn? I would guess that my losses using the AI to help with the air directives are sustainable.

Interdiction is a little frustrating. I gave the US air force a unit mission and an interdiction mission. All the sorties went to the unit mission. At least the UK interdiction mission worked with 0-3 interdiction numbers.

GeneralDad

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/19/2018 6:05:18 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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Put a limit on the "Req" number of aircraft, otherwise it will all the time focus on unit bombing.

I personally use different ADs for Unit bombing and for Interdiction missions.

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Post #: 21
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/20/2018 9:27:19 PM   
BK6583

 

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Ummmm - Please expand on this - not sure what you mean.
quote:

ORIGINAL: EddyBear81

Put a limit on the "Req" number of aircraft, otherwise it will all the time focus on unit bombing.

I personally use different ADs for Unit bombing and for Interdiction missions.


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Post #: 22
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/20/2018 9:37:14 PM   
cfulbright

 

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I don't know if setting a Req'd # for an AD that has both Unit and Interdiction targets will affect anything. I agree that it's best to have separate AD's for Unit and Interdiction. My experience is that the game will do mostly Interdiction when you probably want it do target units.

Cary

(in reply to BK6583)
Post #: 23
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/21/2018 6:00:04 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BK6583

Ummmm - Please expand on this - not sure what you mean.
quote:

ORIGINAL: EddyBear81

Put a limit on the "Req" number of aircraft, otherwise it will all the time focus on unit bombing.

I personally use different ADs for Unit bombing and for Interdiction missions.




In the detailed parameters of the AD, you can set the minimum ("Min") and maximum ("Req") number of aircraft to participate to a given mission.
The first number you enter is the number of planes for the mission (eg bombers) and the second one (which will appear between brackets) is the number of escorts.

I have noticed that the "Unit" ground attack missions tend to put huge raids of several hundred aircraft (if possible). It's not very useful.
To counter this, I usually put a limit in "Req" aircraft, so that the maximum number of aircraft taking part to the mission is not more than a wing (54 planes).

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/21/2018 6:03:35 AM   
cfulbright

 

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Eddy,

I'm not questioning use of the Req, I use it all the time.

Cary

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Post #: 25
RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/21/2018 7:23:08 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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Cary, I was just replying to BK's question ;-)

As for the Unit vs Interdiction, I agree with you, the game will choose mostly Interdiction, for whatever reason.

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RE: Ground interdiction advice, please - 2/21/2018 12:05:14 PM   
apd1004


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There is a lot of "Vulcan Arithmetic" that goes into combat results from a multitude of factors to include the random number generator and certain AI cheats. This combined with excellent developer tweaking/support is what has made Gary Grigsby games great for the past couple decades.

With fog of war enabled, all enemy information you see is a lie. You want to get a hex to Det Level 10 to make it not as much of a lie.

The idea is to keep enemy morale low, fatigue high, experience low (causing casualties that get replaced by lower quality troops), and supply status low. Inverse is true for your units, both air and ground. Don't let the enemy recover; make sure you use the freshest units possible.

I have found that a good blend of overlapping AD's achieves the best results to prep an area for ground assault. A recon box over a 3 hex radius railway/railyard strike box with level bombers, over a 1-2 hex radius interdiction strike with level bombers & fighter bombers, over a 0 hex unit strike with rocket & bomb loadout fighter bombers, and having enough aircraft with miles left over for Ground Support is a good combination for the point of attack for your ground assault.

I have discovered you don't need 9's (good luck getting them anyway) for interdiction values to break a line. See the previous two lines.



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