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escort fighters - 5/11/2018 2:47:03 PM   
dwesolick


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Sorry to ask questions about an old issue but my searches of the forums aren't proving satisfactory. Anyway, what are some of the workarounds to the problems fighters face when escorting bombers (like, getting routinely slaughtered)?
I know LRCap is a partial solution which sometimes works but it seems there were some other tricks to mitigate the escort handicap. I've tried tinkering with altitude settings but that doesn't seem to do much.

(Of course, I wasn't complaining about any of the above when my airacobras were slaughtering zeros over PM and Milne Bay).

If anyone can point me to the relevant threads or offer a few tips it would be greatly appreciated!


Oh, and the fighter squadrons I'm using for escort all have good morale, experience, rest, skills, etc. so that isn't the issue.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/11/2018 2:57:00 PM   
geofflambert


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Escort fighters always go in 2k feet above the bombers they are escorting. You can set their altitude to zero or 30k, it makes no difference whatsoever. If you have a choice between Hellcats and Corsairs, keep the Corsairs doing CAP over your carriers and send the Hellcats.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/11/2018 3:57:32 PM   
dwesolick


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Thanks for the quick response! Unfortunately, I'm only at Jul 42, so no Hellcats or (drool) Corsairs yet. Not much you can do for carrier strikes anyway.

I didn't think altitude mattered much for escorts. If I remember correctly from a previous campaign, the best solution for land strikes was to have one fighter squadron set to lrcap over the target and another set to escort the bombers. Is that mostly correct?

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"The Navy has a moth-eaten tradition that the captain who loses his ship is disgraced. What do they have all those ships for, if not to hurl them at the enemy?" --Douglas MacArthur

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RE: escort fighters - 5/11/2018 5:24:30 PM   
m10bob


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LRCAP will NOT escort bombers, but find friendly ships or bases within range to defend, and once they commit on their own to one of them, they will stay with that same surface location per cycle..
NOTE! You have the option of committing a LRCAP unit to a particular unit or fleet, and if the ships are outside the range of the planes..they will still go to those ships when those ships get close enough..

In order to send bombers out with an escort, mark CAP at a low number...like 20-40%..Those will hover over the carrier/airdrome, and the rest are considered "uncommitted"...Those are the ones which will escort your bombers.

If you set your CAP too high...the bombers may not flay at all...(without a fighter escort)..

Sometimes you will even see a message that "unescorted bombers have returned to base"!!

NOTE:Bombers with a high "experience" level may go in for the attack, even against an enemy fighter CAP...so in time you will learn the importance of keeping units trained...which takes months.



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RE: escort fighters - 5/11/2018 5:45:56 PM   
dwesolick


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Thanks for the info! I'm pretty much aware of all you wrote though. What I meant by using lrcap was to place it over the target hex during a strike. Sometimes they intercept the enemy cap there (sometimes they don't), but they always seem to perform better than the escorts themselves.

_____________________________

"The Navy has a moth-eaten tradition that the captain who loses his ship is disgraced. What do they have all those ships for, if not to hurl them at the enemy?" --Douglas MacArthur

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RE: escort fighters - 5/12/2018 6:31:52 AM   
GetAssista

 

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Escorting fighters are always handicapped, no cure for that. So use your less valuable planes and pilots for those. E.g. never use Thunderbolts as escorts. LRCAP only guarantees that some fighters will be there over the target hex to tangle with the opposition, compared to e.g. a frequent disaster of escorts deciding not to fly at all and bombers going in alone. But LRCAP means low numbers and high fatigue, and it does not escort bombers properly, just pulls away some of the enemy cover.

Sweep/bombard the targets beforehand, use 4E bombers insstead of more vulnerable 2E on targets you expect resistance over, be unpredictable with your targets.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/12/2018 10:51:09 AM   
Chris21wen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

Escorting fighters are always handicapped, no cure for that. So use your less valuable planes and pilots for those. E.g. never use Thunderbolts as escorts. LRCAP only guarantees that some fighters will be there over the target hex to tangle with the opposition, compared to e.g. a frequent disaster of escorts deciding not to fly at all and bombers going in alone. But LRCAP means low numbers and high fatigue, and it does not escort bombers properly, just pulls away some of the enemy cover.

Sweep/bombard the targets beforehand, use 4E bombers insstead of more vulnerable 2E on targets you expect resistance over, be unpredictable with your targets.


Happened in real life as well. Even good escorts like Thnderbolts, Mustangs were at a disadvantage when escorting at the same hieght in game, only high escorts 'sweeps in game' had an advantage. Fighter boys always wanted to go in high.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/12/2018 12:10:17 PM   
Barb


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One can also try sending Bombers really high (like B-17/B-24s at 25-30k, B-29s at 30k+) so that their escorting fighters would have an height advantage over climbing CAP (but the bombing accuracy will be reduced). Other way is to use LRCAP to support the incoming bombers (but their numbers will be low and will be fatigued, especially at longer range) and Sweeps, Sweeps, Sweeps, Sweeps, Sweeps, Sweeps. Also sometimes a diversionary strike on surrounding hexes can divert part of the CAP from the real target - based on the opponents CAP settings.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/12/2018 12:33:36 PM   
dwesolick


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Thanks for the excellent tips! I've tried sweeps in past games but I never get much success from them. Probably sent the fighters in too low. When I get a chance, I'll try sending some P-38s on a sweep at maybe 25K, see if that works.
I know escorts were at a bit of a disadvantage in real life, but I think the game overdoes it a bit.

_____________________________

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RE: escort fighters - 5/12/2018 7:19:57 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

Sweep/bombard the targets beforehand, use 4E bombers insstead of more vulnerable 2E on targets you expect resistance over, be unpredictable with your targets.


+1

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RE: escort fighters - 5/13/2018 4:46:08 AM   
crsutton


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I never escort if I can avoid it. (Except Naval attack). I use LRCAP only. If I have the planes I will send one, two or more of my better fighters in as sweeps with about 50-70 percent set on LRCAP. The idea is to sweep the base and let the CAP help the sweeps. Japanese fighters if they take any damage at all will break off. American fighters can take some damage and stay in the fight. Unless you are facing overwhelming CAP this should work fine and by the time your bombers come in-even if there is no LRCAP left (usually there is) it seems like the remaining enemy fighters do not intercept or only put up a half hearted fight. Given enough sweeps and CAP, you can virtually suppress all fighter opposition by the time your bombers come in. This is what I do. Sometimes it does not work but given good leadership and enough experience it works most of the time and works well for me. The Allied player just does not have any surplus of fighters to waste them flying escort in 1942-43. That just won't do at all..

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RE: escort fighters - 5/13/2018 1:03:08 PM   
dwesolick


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Hmmm...very interesting idea (using a combo of LRCAP and sweeps) and one that I've never tried in all the years I've played this game (going back to the Eisenhower administration). I'll definitely give it a shot!

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RE: escort fighters - 5/13/2018 1:54:48 PM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dwesolick

Thanks for the info! I'm pretty much aware of all you wrote though. What I meant by using lrcap was to place it over the target hex during a strike. Sometimes they intercept the enemy cap there (sometimes they don't), but they always seem to perform better than the escorts themselves.



Something you touched on here that shows you have been experimenting and are doing well..

Those LRCAP's ARE very good when assigned to an enemy base. One of the fringe benefits is they will intercept any incoming enemy transport planes and kill them and whatever they may be carrying,(ala Admiral Yamamoto?)

Very helpful if you can identify any enemy units which are relying on para-drops of supplies for food and ammo...

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 6:49:53 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

Those LRCAP's ARE very good when assigned to an enemy base. One of the fringe benefits is they will intercept any incoming enemy transport planes and kill them and whatever they may be carrying,(ala Admiral Yamamoto?)


OK, and this brings me to something I've been thinking about of late. It's my understanding that if I have CAP in the hex, my CAP and my opponents' LRCAP will simply 'look' at each other if nothing else is going on. Is that correct? Now since I can't sweep my own base that means I have no way to defend against this tactic to protect my transports, other than to give them escort, which puts me at a disadvantage when I don't have to be.

If the above is true, then again I have a problem with said action. If my CAP and my opponents' LRCAP do engage, or if I can in fact sweep the base then no big deal. Otherwise I have a problem with said tactic.

What else is new?

Seriously though if I'm wrong here let me know. If not....

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 6:51:55 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

and whatever they may be carrying,(ala Admiral Yamamoto?)


Two very different things here. Definitely a case of 'apples and oranges'.

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It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 6:56:55 PM   
btd64


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I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 7:23:01 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64

I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP


Thanks GP, if and when the situation calls for it I'll definitely give it a try.


_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 8:42:26 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64

I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

You can but they will never fly

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 9:01:26 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista


quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64

I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

You can but they will never fly


That's what I thought, but wasn't sure. I wonder if it'll work differently depending on whether there's opposition there or not.


_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to GetAssista)
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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 9:37:27 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi
quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista
quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64
I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

You can but they will never fly


That's what I thought, but wasn't sure. I wonder if it'll work differently depending on whether there's opposition there or not.

What part of "never" is not clear?

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RE: escort fighters - 5/15/2018 10:55:50 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista


quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64

I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

You can but they will never fly


But you can set the CAP as "Sweep" instead of "Escort". This prevents the unit sending some of its fighters off with bombing missions.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/16/2018 6:41:06 AM   
L0ckAndL0ad


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista


quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64

I haven't tried it lately, but you can assign your own base to sweep with your fighters. If i'm remembering correctly....GP

You can but they will never fly


But you can set the CAP as "Sweep" instead of "Escort". This prevents the unit sending some of its fighters off with bombing missions.


Ha-ha! Just to be clear. There is one exception. If your friendly base is contested by enemy ground units, you can sweep it. That's what happened to me in my allied owned but contested PM. I was trying to limit escorts flying with attack missions to PM hex, and tried Sweep mission with some CAP level.

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on 23rd Division, at 98,130 (Port Moresby)

Weather in hex: Overcast

Raid spotted at 14 NM, estimated altitude 15,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-27b Nate x 4

Allied aircraft
A-24 Banshee x 13
P-39D Airacobra x 16

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-27b Nate: 2 destroyed

No Allied losses

Japanese ground losses:
4 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled

Aircraft Attacking:
9 x A-24 Banshee releasing from 3000'
Ground Attack: 1 x 1000 lb GP Bomb
3 x P-39D Airacobra sweeping at 20000 feet
3 x P-39D Airacobra sweeping at 15000 feet

4 x A-24 Banshee releasing from 2000'
Ground Attack: 1 x 1000 lb GP Bomb

CAP engaged:
4th Sentai with Ki-27b Nate (4 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
(4 plane(s) diverted to support CAP in hex.)
4 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 9000 , scrambling fighters between 0 and 9000.
Raid is overhead

Also attacking 88th Infantry Regiment ...
Also attacking 23rd Division ...


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

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RE: escort fighters - 5/16/2018 6:52:57 AM   
Barb


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CAP and enemy LRCAP WILL engage each other - but at very limited rate - you can notice some casualties in the INFO screen from such action, as well as increased fatigue/damage to planes/pilots. But you will not see any Combat animation unless another mission targets that hex (sweep/bombing).

Using LRCAP over enemy base will certainly help to blunt the CAP during the turn - this will make it easier for sweeps and strikes to get through the CAP.

If I can borrow a comparison to real life - imagine a 1942-1943 western Europe, JG26/JG2 in France - set up for CAP/Interception. Allies send a some fighters ("Ranger") to stir up the Jerries in the area around Calais - to draw the Germans to fight. German tactic was to evade sweeps to conserve strength. Then a fighter sweep appears ("Rodeo"). Same here, Jerries are on the ground, but ready. Then radar detects a bomber raid ("Circus/Ramrod"). Jerries scramble and climb. Some of them get intercepted by Sweeps ("Rodeo"), some by LRCAP ("Ranger"), some had to keep high cover over the battle... so their numbers and fuel and ammo are spent here before the bombers arrive. Even if they are successful in engaging the bombers, their effect is limited.

On the other hand if no supporting operations are in the process, then all Jerries have to do is to time their launch, climb up, prepare and attack with full numbers/ammo/fuel.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/16/2018 8:17:23 AM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: L0ckAndL0ad
Ha-ha! Just to be clear. There is one exception. If your friendly base is contested by enemy ground units, you can sweep it. That's what happened to me in my allied owned but contested PM. I was trying to limit escorts flying with attack missions to PM hex, and tried Sweep mission with some CAP level.

To be clear, what I've seen from my testing is this: a fighter airgroup will never fly to sweep your own base hex on its own if you give it an order to sweep. Which is IMO a bug that better be fixed eventually cause there are reasons now and then to sweep away leaky CAP or LRCAP from over your base.
There are some shenanigans that are not clear to me when sweepers sometimes come escorting bombing missions though. I'm not sure if they act as sweepers or escorts in this case, regardless of what the combat report is telling you.

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RE: escort fighters - 5/16/2018 9:00:26 AM   
L0ckAndL0ad


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

quote:

ORIGINAL: L0ckAndL0ad
Ha-ha! Just to be clear. There is one exception. If your friendly base is contested by enemy ground units, you can sweep it. That's what happened to me in my allied owned but contested PM. I was trying to limit escorts flying with attack missions to PM hex, and tried Sweep mission with some CAP level.

To be clear, what I've seen from my testing is this: a fighter airgroup will never fly to sweep your own base hex on its own if you give it an order to sweep. Which is IMO a bug that better be fixed eventually cause there are reasons now and then to sweep away leaky CAP or LRCAP from over your base.
There are some shenanigans that are not clear to me when sweepers sometimes come escorting bombing missions though. I'm not sure if they act as sweepers or escorts in this case, regardless of what the combat report is telling you.

I just tested it, and you're right! They won't "sweep" unless there's a bombing mission flown. Definitely something fishy going on.

(in reply to GetAssista)
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RE: escort fighters - 5/16/2018 3:22:50 PM   
m10bob


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Ya' know...You can set your CAP range to 1 ?

You may experience better intercept odds if you break a squadron into thirds and set 3 different altitudes.

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