The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (Full Version)

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bcgames -> The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/16/2019 12:43:28 AM)

[image]local://upfiles/35266/67703336EE7A4168834254846D0DC78A.jpg[/image]

Providing combat tips for the Air War in Desert War is complicated. It's complicated because at the start of the campaign (1940), the density of aircraft is low; by El Alamein (1942) both sides have a ton of air assets. Before we jump in to recommendations on what to do, let's review the five missions that you can perform with an air asset:

* Counterair. A superior counterair allocation will influence the enemy's air asset capability to interdict, conduct ground attacks and/or ground support missions.

* Interdiction. Air assets committed to interdiction will reduce the amount of enemy supply points received, limit the C2 range of enemy HQs, and reduce the movement factors of enemy units.

* Ground Attack. This mission allows an air asset(s) to attack enemy ground units that are not in contact with friendly ground units.

* Ground Support. This mission allows an air asset(s) to provide some number of positive force ratio shifts in support of a friendly ground unit's attack or defense.

* Rest. You can't keep flying air assets 24/7; they need rest. The lower their readiness rating the higher the casualties they will sustain. At least one turn out of every day should be a rest turn.

With that out of the way, here are some thoughts to help guide you through the use of air power in Desert War scenarios. Let's take Counterair first. How does Friendly vs Enemy Counterair interact?

- If Side A and Side B allocate the same number of air assets to the Counterair mission, they basically negate each other's efforts. There is no effect on the opposing side's interdiction, ground attack, or ground support missions (if allocated).

- If Side A has allocated more air assets to the Counterair mission than Side B, then subtract the Side B Counterair quantity from the Side A Counterair quantity. The net result is the number of Side B's Interdiction missions (if allocated) that are negated--AND--the number of antiaircraft points added to any Side A ground unit's AA defense that is subject to a Side B air attack.

Given these potential results, when is a good time to use Counterair?

- If receiving supply points is critical to your game play, then Counterair limits the number of points the enemy can destroy using Interdiction.

- If you "know" the enemy is about to launch a major attack against your ground units, Counterair can limit the effect of enemy air units by juicing up the effectiveness of friendly antiaircraft effects. An aborted enemy Ground Support unit is one or more combat shifts the enemy doesn't get.

- If you need to "run away" and you don't want enemy Interdiction throwing a monkey wrench into your scheme by reducing your ground movement factors, pour on the coal with Counterair to limit the effectiveness of enemy Interdiction.

More to follow...




AP514 -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/18/2019 2:43:14 PM)

So, does CounterAir work for the Whole map or just 1 HEX ??

I guess the same Question goes for Interdiction




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/18/2019 2:55:14 PM)

The whole map for both.




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/19/2019 6:47:29 AM)

[image]local://upfiles/35266/992A20E4C26946B1BB87B9B6B952C322.jpg[/image]

On Interdiction, let's start with the review...

* Interdiction. Air assets committed to interdiction will reduce the amount of enemy supply points received, limit the C2 range of enemy HQs, and reduce the movement factors of enemy units.

Now let's un-pack this.

Interdiction will reduce the amount of enemy supply points received.
Sometimes losing ammo and/or fuel points is a big deal in a scenario; sometimes it isn't. What makes it a big deal? If the enemy has to attack in order to achieve its objectives, and starts the scenario with a "small" amount of ammo with only a few points delivered every turn as re-supply--this is a good time to use interdiction...if you have the planes. Likewise, If the enemy has to move across a long distance to accomplish their objectives, a robust interdiction regimen can put a real dent in the enemy's fuel supplies...if you have the planes.

Interdiction will limit the C2 range of enemy HQs. So...the enemy has a ton of supplies and more coming! What to do? You might not be able to reduce the number of fuel and ammo points available but you can reduce the range of the distributing HQ. Reducing the range of an HQ means the enemy will have to keep their subordinate units closer--more compact--to allow them to be eligible to receive Combat+ and Move+ supply modes. This in turn limits the immediate area of operations for all enemy units belonging to an HQ (and they all belong to an HQ).

Interdiction will reduce the movement factors of enemy units. So...the enemy is all over your ass and you need to break contact. Dump some of your fuel points to your own units to get a Move+, and throw in some air assets in the Interdiction mode. It doesn't take too much to keep the pursuing enemy one step behind your units trying to get out of Dodge City.

Combined Effects.
Put all these effects together and you have a very powerful tool...if you have the planes.

More to follow...




AP514 -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/20/2019 4:54:30 AM)

Thank you for the reply/Info




Okayrun3254 -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/20/2019 12:43:27 PM)

Does Counterair affect both enemy Ground Attack and Ground Support missions?

How come some fighter units have a good Ground Attack number, but zero for Ground Support?




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/20/2019 3:09:11 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

Does Counterair affect both enemy Ground Attack and Ground Support missions?

Yes. Each air asset assigned to Counter-Air will add one (1) anti-aircraft point to every friendly occupied hex that is attacked by an enemy air asset during a single turn. But every enemy air asset assigned to Counter-Air will counteract one friendly air asset assigned to Counter-Air.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254
How come some fighter units have a good Ground Attack number, but zero for Ground Support?

Ground Support. Only the Luftwaffe started the war with adequate procedures, personnel and equipment dedicated to air/ground coordination (Ground Support). The Brits had an "air coordination" squadron of Lysanders IIRC in the desert at the start of the war specially trained in ground support. Other than that, most nations didn't know how to do close air support without attacking their own troops. This improved over time and you will see more and more squadrons trained in and dedicated to the ground support role. By El Alamein, the Brits were pretty good at it. By 1944, they were devastating.

Ground Attack. Doctrine was developed to de-conflict ground and air forces in the form of "the Bomb Line". This was typically drawn by the ground force commander. What it basically tells the air force commander is "on this side of the line there are enemy and friendly ground forces in contact--you have to coordinate with us before you drop one bomb, shoot one bullet or rocket. On that side of the line there are no friendly forces--blow up, strafe, interdict, whatever you please (within the Laws of War, protected target lists, etc.)"

Put all together in the game, fighter units trained in Ground Support have a ground support factor and get to fly Ground Support. Fighters with Ground Attack factors still get to attack ground targets--they just can't do it in support of friendly ground troops cuz they were not trained to do it--their primary role being aerial combat (dogfighting).








Okayrun3254 -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/23/2019 4:11:45 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames


quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

Does Counterair affect both enemy Ground Attack and Ground Support missions?

Yes. Each air asset assigned to Counter-Air will add one (1) anti-aircraft point to every friendly occupied hex that is attacked by an enemy air asset during a single turn. But every enemy air asset assigned to Counter-Air will counteract one friendly air asset assigned to Counter-Air.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254
How come some fighter units have a good Ground Attack number, but zero for Ground Support?

Ground Support. Only the Luftwaffe started the war with adequate procedures, personnel and equipment dedicated to air/ground coordination (Ground Support). The Brits had an "air coordination" squadron of Lysanders IIRC in the desert at the start of the war specially trained in ground support. Other than that, most nations didn't know how to do close air support without attacking their own troops. This improved over time and you will see more and more squadrons trained in and dedicated to the ground support role. By El Alamein, the Brits were pretty good at it. By 1944, they were devastating.

Ground Attack. Doctrine was developed to de-conflict ground and air forces in the form of "the Bomb Line". This was typically drawn by the ground force commander. What it basically tells the air force commander is "on this side of the line there are enemy and friendly ground forces in contact--you have to coordinate with us before you drop one bomb, shoot one bullet or rocket. On that side of the line there are no friendly forces--blow up, strafe, interdict, whatever you please (within the Laws of War, protected target lists, etc.)"

Put all together in the game, fighter units trained in Ground Support have a ground support factor and get to fly Ground Support. Fighters with Ground Attack factors still get to attack ground targets--they just can't do it in support of friendly ground troops cuz they were not trained to do it--their primary role being aerial combat (dogfighting).








thankyou for the in depth reply. Its very nice to get the historical thought behind the game mechanics, and not just a explanation of the mechanics. I really appreciate the added input you give to your answers.




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/26/2019 5:13:05 AM)

On Offensive Ground Support

...just because you can--doesn't mean you should.


Air Assets are fragile things. This is not obvious from the combat results of any single turn. But over time, your ground support assets will be shot out of the sky if you are not careful in their employment. For example, a 5% loss in strength per turn over 10 game turns is a 50% loss.

Things to think about before committing Air Assets to a Ground Support mission:

* Does it have a chance to be effective?

- Is the potential enemy AA minimal/acceptable? AA = Potential loss of planes.
- If AA is minimal/acceptable, and the friendly air asset can get through, will a single CRT shift make a difference? A 5 to 1 reduced to a 4 to 1 might win the day; a 10 to 1 reduced to a 9 to 1 prolly doesn't change the ground result--but does destroy aircraft and reduces the readiness of your air assets--all for naught.

* Will it influence your game strategy in a positive way? Every plan, every single action should be geared towards achieving the Victory Objectives of a scenario. Air Assets are a limited resource--make them count.

* Don't over-do it. Air Assets have diminishing returns. Ground Support effectiveness decreases with the number of units added. The strongest air asset attacks using 100% of its ground attack value. The next strongest air asset attacks at 50% effectiveness. The next attacks at 33% effectiveness. The next attacks at 25% effectiveness, etc.

Bottomline: Husband your Ground Support Assets. Only use them when they can make a difference.




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/27/2019 12:44:22 AM)

On Defensive Ground Support

Your guess is as good as mine.


IMO, in the world of air asset employment, Defensive Ground Support (DGS) comes in fourth place after Counter-Air, Interdiction, and Offensive Ground Support. Why? If the enemy does NOT attack the hex you've allocated DGS to--you lose readiness for flying the mission, and get no pay-off.

Tactic: If you are the attacker, don't attack "when you should"...sucker the enemy into committing DGS. He flies his planes...you don't attack...result? Tired enemy air assets.

Bottomline: Do DGS ONLY after all other priorities for air assets have been met, or when you have air superiority and have idle air assets waiting for a mission.




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/28/2019 2:55:06 AM)

On Rest

Steal a rest when you can.

The best time to rest is during a "night" turn (the third turn of every day). Recovering readiness at night is twice that of a day turn. The best time to achieve temporary air superiority is at "night" when the enemy--who has flown the tar out of his air assets during the day--is resting.

You are of course, subject to the same tactics by the enemy.

Bottomline: If the enemy can detect a pattern in how you rest your air units--he can and will take advantage of it.




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (12/29/2019 12:37:59 AM)

The last thing I have to say about Air Support is--don't ignore it, over play it, nor down play it. The weight of its' importance depends on what air assets are available in each particular scenario. IOW, answer the question: How do you play the cards you are dealt?

Up and At 'Em!




Okayrun3254 -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (1/11/2020 1:34:33 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

[image]local://upfiles/35266/67703336EE7A4168834254846D0DC78A.jpg[/image]

Providing combat tips for the Air War in Desert War is complicated. It's complicated because at the start of the campaign (1940), the density of aircraft is low; by El Alamein (1942) both sides have a ton of air assets. Before we jump in to recommendations on what to do, let's review the five missions that you can perform with an air asset:


* Ground Support. This mission allows an air asset(s) to provide some number of positive force ratio shifts in support of a friendly ground unit's attack or defense.




How do you know how many positive force ratio shifts an air unit will produce for ground support? I have seen some ground support missions adding +1 and some adding +3.

Does it make a difference to use more than one air unit for a Ground Support attack?




bcgames -> RE: The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Air Support (1/11/2020 6:29:47 PM)

The image shows three air assets with three different ground support ratings. The first air asset on the left would provide +1 force ratio shift, the next air asset provides +3, and the third aircraft cannot support a ground attack--it has no ground support factor. This information is also available on the right side of the air asset panel for the selected air asset.

Ground Support effectiveness decreases with the number of units added. The strongest air asset attacks using 100% of its ground attack value. The next strongest air asset attacks at 50% effectiveness. The next attacks at 33% effectiveness. The next attacks at 25% effectiveness, etc.

The answer to your question depends on the situation. As a general rule, I would say the max you should think about committing to support a hex attack or defense is three air assets. The diminishing benefits with each additional air asset versus the cost of downtime for those air assets is the key question in making this decision. On the other hand, if you absolutely need that ground support shift and if the chance is high of aircraft aborting due to antiaircraft fire--then perhaps more is better...maybe one of three get through and you get your shift.

[image]local://upfiles/35266/1E047150BB92420C839FF928DF3BB012.jpg[/image]




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