From: Washington D.C.
Regarding the two-plane combos versus two single planes, I'm inclined to believe that splitting them up (coming to the same target area from a different axis) may be the best, at least in game terms.
Go for it! The whole multi-axis versus single-axis debate to me comes down to mass versus fog of war. Depending on the situation mass wins sometimes, fog of war wins other times. It can also depend on how the enemy reacts. If they devote their resources to repelling one attack and not the other, then you win. If they think they have enough to do just as well by dividing their force equally then you might not win. It depends a lot on how well resourced your opponent is. If they have a lot, then multi-axis might not help you. If they have a little, then the one axis of attack draws stuff away, making the other one more likely to succeed. It's the difference between how you fight a 100' dragon versus a 500' dragon.
Regarding the OECM/HARM combo, my situation is I NEED the OECM a/c regardless, and they happen to have a HARM option that combines the two. My thoughts were, since they are going in that direction anyway, why not add the HARMs to the a/c? It seems logical. But, when trying to set up a mission rather than micromanaging it. The combo version will fire off its HARMs and head for home, no longer concerning itself with the needed jamming. By not attaching the HARMs, the a/c stay focused on their OECM mission. So, unless I want to micromanage, or unless there is another way (WRA..?) to tell the a/c not to go home, then I would prefer to have the OECM aspect of the HARMs.
Weapons hold, ignore Winchester... People already got to that part. The other technique you could do is set up a strike mission for just the targets you want to hit, and keep the EA-6 on weapons hold. Then, when you want them to attack that target, swap them to the strike mission (Right-click -> Assign to Mission is the fast way to do it) and take them off weapon's hold. That might have the Winchester problem, though, I think. Experiment.
Micromanaging isn't necessarily a bad thing. I use missions in combination with direct intervention. That way, for some things I'll let the AI handle it, and then for certain critical tasks using high value units (A group of EA-6s would be a great example) I might jump in and direct things (e.g. attack this target, no kidding, right now).
but if five jammer pods are that much better than three, or if three are that much better than two, then I will have to play around with it some more. It's difficult when all you see is JAM whether it's five, three, or one.
The hard part of jamming is that it's hard to tell how well you're doing until they actually shoot at you. :-)
I'm of the opinion that more jamming is better. That's why I love MALD-Js. I'll shoot off B-52s full of them minutes before my SEAD aircraft roll in, because they're expendable, so if they get shot down I don't care. I tend to be more cautious of EA-6s just because I don't typically have lots of them. My own predisposition in that case is to use them in more of a standoff role than an attack role. If I ingress them with a bunch of strike aircraft carrying HARM and air to air missiles, though (e.g. A-7s, F/A-18s, F-4s) then maybe I'll feel a little less conservative. One of the advantages of the EF-18G is that it is pretty good in an air-to-air fight so it is a little less vulnerable in that kind of role versus the EA-6.
I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer. You might find templates somewhere. For example, there's a book out there called Clashes, which does a great job of describing a typical Vietnam-era strike package, and how it evolved over time. It's really interesting how the number of support aircraft blew up with the introduction of precision guided weapons, compared to Rolling Thunder era strikes which were all dumb bombs. You might find more recent information describing El Dorado Canyon or Allied Force. I wouldn't look at that as a statement of "this is exactly what must be done every single time." It's more of a point of departure to start your thinking about how to approach the particular problem with the aircraft you have in your scenario. You might end up deciding that you do better by modifying the template.
So... like... suppose we use Clashes as an example of how it's done. You might use the EA-6 in the same way they used EB-66s, as a standoff jammer in a fixed orbit near your target. You might find that works. Then you see the HARM capability and decide that if you add them into your SEAD package, then you free up a few more strike aircraft to carry some BLU-109s and do more damage to that deeply buried chemical weapons storage facility you're trying to hit and your jamming is more effective because the can get closer to the antennas. On the other hand you might find you lose them a lot and the increased effectiveness isn't worth the risk of getting them shot down.
That's the kind of trade offs that Command is really good for exploring. It's tactics at its purest.
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/13/2019 7:12:13 PM >