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RE: Why is bombardment so weak?

 
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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 11:24:10 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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Fine, you are right. Airpower should not be able to kill opposing equipment. 100s of aircraft attacking over a week should be satisfied killing 10 tanks, 10-12 APCs, a few squads and handful of trucks.

Its a good thing the Russians didnt know how worthless airpower would have been in the 80s and wasted all that time and money trying to develop counters to Western airpower. If they had just sunk that time and money into more ground forces, NATO might really have been in trouble.

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Post #: 91
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 11:33:33 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe
Well then in a turn-based game you are conceding that the system is hosed.

I'm not conceding anything of the sort.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe
How can a player order attacks on enemy units in a static turn sequence and ever catch them 'moving'?

If you want to catch them moving, then assign units to interdiction, and take your chances of being in the right spot, at the right time...much like real-life...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe
This is especially true for P1 because P2 units will ALWAYS have full movement points since they havent had their turn yet.

This is both an incorrect statement, as well as completely irrelevent. There are many instances where P2 units do not have their full movement points, because of P1 actions infringing on them, as well as reserve movement by P2 units during P1's turn. In any event, the number of movement points does not directly affect whether a unit is struck by interdiction. It happens semi-randomly during movement, and at the start of each cycle of battles. The former to recreate attacks on units moving in the open, and the latter, at convenient "targets of opportunity", including those which are not actively moving.

Dedicated airstrikes work at a lower efficiency since they do not have the luxury of hitting only those convenient targets of opportunity that may be in less well deployed circumstances, and rather, are forced to attack where the enemy is, whether he's cooperating by being overly exposed, or not.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe
If this is the argument, then I'll concede that the system does a very poor job of modeling combat at this level and leave it at that.

That, above, was the argument. Whether you are convinced it is a reasonable abstraction is up to you, and likewise, whether you feel it mirrors your view of the true efficacy of air-ground combat is up to you. However, that is the way it is, in TOAW III.

As mentioned before, we are dialing back down the AAA fire, and this will swing the results more favorably toward the air units than they are now. Try it after the next patch, and see how you feel about it then. Or, play scenarios with less of an air component to get frustrated with...

< Message edited by JAMiAM -- 6/30/2006 11:45:04 PM >

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Post #: 92
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 11:37:57 PM   
Industrial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Fine, you are right. Airpower should not be able to kill opposing equipment. 100s of aircraft attacking over a week should be satisfied killing 10 tanks, 10-12 APCs, a few squads and handful of trucks.

Its a good thing the Russians didnt know how worthless airpower would have been in the 80s and wasted all that time and money trying to develop counters to Western airpower. If they had just sunk that time and money into more ground forces, NATO might really have been in trouble.


Looking at the facts I just posted... 89.000 sorties, resulting in roughly (lets be generous) 1500 kills of hard targets over 6 weeks... yes, I think 100s of aircraft attacking over a week should be satisfied killing 10 tanks, 10-12 APCs, a few squads and handful of trucks.

TOAW tries to model real life, and not what what you apparently think the air force should be able to accomplish.

Maybe you should take a look at the ppt presentation I linked, and take a look at the results from the air campaign in the Kosovo, here they are:

Lethality: Only 52 (<5%) Serbian combat systems destroyed during the 78-day air campaign
14 Tanks destroyed
18 APCs destroyed
20 Artillery/Mortars destroyed

Other Factors: 6766 Sorties planned
3766 (56%) sorties were aborted due to weather
990 of 3000 (33%) executed sorties were adversely affected by weather
Less than 50% ATO targets were effectively engaged2

Maybe you should research a few fact for yourself and than use them to back up your statements of how leathal the air force should be, hm?

< Message edited by Industrial -- 6/30/2006 11:40:21 PM >


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Post #: 93
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:38:34 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Time scale is another bug-a-boo. In larger scenarios, an air attack is supposed to represent up to a WEEK'S worth of attacks.


No- each round is 10% of the turn. So if you attack on "ignore losses" then it's about two day's worth of attacks.

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Post #: 94
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:40:15 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Oh please. Dont try using stat manipulation. Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can twist the stats.

Just off the top, of those "89000" sorties WELL over half were counter air or air interception...ie Fighter sweeps and airfield strikes. Plenty more were dedicated anti-air defense. Look how many were close support....about 5000.

Its impossible to know how a general air war in Europe would look...there ARE no stats for such a thing (thank god!). But using 'bug hunting' statistics as the norm probably isnt the best idea for recreating general warfare IMO. Obviously you think otherwise. I'm not going to get into massaging stat numbers with you. Its pointless since there is little data either way.

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Post #: 95
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:43:26 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

To me, that is a cop-out. The game should work as designed, not be requiring the scenario designers to manipulate the data.


.... that's a peculiar statement. Scenario design is a very involved process. Changing one or two additional variables is not exactly what I'd call an overwhelming burden.

quote:

If you need to have PGM at 6x then the data is wrong for those aircraft.


Not if those aircraft are using PGMs.

quote:

Other examples would be 100s of B52s attacking units in the open, moving...results...neglible....


Yeah, sounds about right. Carpet bombing doesn't really work. Of course, it'll really tear up prepared positions. If said unit was entrenched before, it won't be now.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:47:51 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Read the posts please....Just read them....

THE GULF WAR IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF FORCE DENSITY IN A GENERAL WAR IN EUROPE CIRCA 1990!!


Stop using caps. Kuwait is about half the size of Belgium. I'd say the force density is in the same ballpark.

quote:

Units that are 'mobile' should be considered moving units


This won't work. It'll just force the player to go through every damned unit setting it to dig-in.

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Post #: 97
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:49:52 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Its a good thing the Russians didnt know how worthless airpower would have been in the 80s and wasted all that time and money trying to develop counters to Western airpower. If they had just sunk that time and money into more ground forces, NATO might really have been in trouble.


You know, NATO decided fairly on during the Cold War that it would never be able to match the Pact's conventional strength. That is why NATO doctrine called for a full nuclear release in the event of a general war in Europe.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:51:31 AM   
PDiFolco

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

Other examples would be 100s of B52s attacking units in the open, moving...results...neglible....


Yeah, sounds about right. Carpet bombing doesn't really work. Of course, it'll really tear up prepared positions. If said unit was entrenched before, it won't be now.


Do you think so ? Ask the Germans after Cobra opening : sure they weren't "killed", but they were badly mauled and stunned, not just "detrenched"

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:54:16 AM   
Industrial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Oh please. Dont try using stat manipulation. Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can twist the stats.

Just off the top, of those "89000" sorties WELL over half were counter air or air interception...ie Fighter sweeps and airfield strikes. Plenty more were dedicated anti-air defense. Look how many were close support....about 5000.


Look at my original post again, there the 111.000 sorties were broken down into several categories. The airfield and air superiority attacks were quite clearly the: offensive counter air, defensive counter air and suppression of enemy air defenses mission, and I've already susbstarcted those from the total flown missions, leaving me with 89.000 ground attack sorties. (after all, the Iraqi air force and air defence was defeated after days, during most of the campaign the coalition had air supremicy)

Total sorties flown = 111,500
40,900 air interdiction (AI)
5,150 close air support (CAS)
8,000 offensive counter air (OCA)
9,600 defensive counter air (DCA)
4,850 suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD)
43,000 support

Than, Close Air Support are missions requested by ground troops to help in ongoing battles, so that would be during the 96h ground war. Leaving the 41000 air interdiction missions and 43000 support missions.

Maybe you should stop twisting the stats? Or better, start to read and understand them?

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Post #: 100
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:56:23 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Just off the top, of those "89000" sorties WELL over half were counter air or air interception...ie Fighter sweeps and airfield strikes. Plenty more were dedicated anti-air defense. Look how many were close support....about 5000.


Plus a further 43,000 "support". "Close support" would be aircraft participating in a ground attack. "Support" would be pure bombardments.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 7/1/2006 12:57:02 AM >


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Post #: 101
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 12:58:01 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PDiFolco

Do you think so ? Ask the Germans after Cobra opening : sure they weren't "killed", but they were badly mauled and stunned, not just "detrenched"


Well, the unit will tend to lose readiness too.

Anyway, in TOAW a fortified unit has four times the defence of a unit in mobile deployment. So it can be well worth digging them out.

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Post #: 102
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 1:13:44 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious
Anyway, in TOAW a fortified unit has four times the defence of a unit in mobile deployment. So it can be well worth digging them out.

Actually, that might have been what the CoW manual stated, but it was way off. Infantry has/had an 8x defense multiplier. Static equipment, a 6x multiplier, and vehicles a 3x multiplier.

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Post #: 103
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 1:15:33 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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[font=times.new.roman0150]
quote:

Yeah, sounds about right. Carpet bombing doesn't really work. Of course, it'll really tear up prepared positions. If said unit was entrenched before, it won't be now.
 
Right...I'm sure the Iraqis in the Tawakalna, Hammurabi, and Medina divisions would be happy to know that the B52 strikes that annihilated them didnt really work. This was flights of 3 B52s hitting every 3 hours around the clock for weeks, but only 3 at a time...and all three divisions were effectively destroyed by the time of the ground offensive.
As far as sorties do you know what 'support' also refers to?
 
Refueling aircraft, AWACS aircraft, SAR and tracking aircraft as well as attacking chemical and biological weapon capable sites. Support tends to be a catch all for general non-strike missions.

We can play statistics games all day. You guys are missing the point.

I've never denied that the game's Interdiction model doesnt work (and mentioned that it was in fact, fine). But that is subject to extreme randomness. The only input a player gets in the air war is to plan strikes and CS, neither of which have much effect in game terms. Strikes on mobile and moving units should not be too much less effective than 'Interdiction' yet it is EXTREMELY less effective in the game. Why? THAT is the problem that I see...not that airpower overall cant have an effect, but that PLAYER CONTROLLED airpower is weak...very weak.

If we want to let the computer control the most effective method of using airpower why not just let the computer play itself? I thought the point of the game is to allow the player to have the general input of what and where to strike. Only in the air war, the player's input is essentially meaningless since he cant order strikes of any significance and is relegated to hoping the AI concentrates the airpower where he thinks it should happen. Why not let the AI decide where your reinforcements go too?

There are also 'cheap' tactics to screw up enemy interdiction such as 'dancing' AAA units around the area to draw off the attacks (and maul them in the process). Why? Because the player has no control. So give the player the ability to PLAN effective strikes (even if just one moving/mobile units). Otherwise the AI is controlling too much crucial power in many campaigns.

I guess I just dont see what the big deal is about allowing strikes the same lethality as interdiction. If the units are dug in, they'll suffer less casualties anyways. Its not like the air units cant hurt enemy targets now, its just the player has little input as to what those targets are.


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 1:17:04 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

Actually, that might have been what the CoW manual stated, but it was way off. Infantry has/had an 8x defense multiplier. Static equipment, a 6x multiplier, and vehicles a 3x multiplier.


Well, the gist is that being fortified kicks arse. I knew that already...

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Post #: 105
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 1:22:00 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

and all three divisions were effectively destroyed by the time of the ground offensive.


Presumably this is an extrapolation from the fact that the coalition sliced through them like butter. I offer the alternative reason: that these were Iraqi troops. Iraqs tend to behave like butter in combat. See 1942.

quote:

I've never denied that the game's Interdiction model doesnt work


Double negative. Presumably you mean the reverse?

quote:

The only input a player gets in the air war is to plan strikes and CS, neither of which have much effect in game terms.


In COW, I find assigning air support can be very effective. Just don't make bloody pure bombardments.

Anyway, the player also controls the generalities of the air war- how much emphasis to put on the three air missions, where on the map to focus the airpower, etc.

quote:

There are also 'cheap' tactics to screw up enemy interdiction such as 'dancing' AAA units around the area to draw off the attacks


Yeah. That's really not acceptable.

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Post #: 106
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 1:41:20 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

In COW, I find assigning air support can be very effective. Just don't make bloody pure bombardments.


Tests in TOAW3 dont show it to be effective. Whether this is just the AA bug or not, I dont know, but I was shocked to see how impotent CAS missions were too. I recall them being fine in COW as well.

quote:

Presumably this is an extrapolation from the fact that the coalition sliced through them like butter.


And the fact that they had little to no equipment left by the time the ground troops arrived. Almost nothing of those three divisions was captured or KO'ed by Coalition ground forces.

But the fact remains that that feat cannot be accomplished the game by 24 B52s or by 240 B52s. Damage to cohesion and control is not properly modeled so equipment losses (even if just temporary) must supplant them. In the game, even IF you managed to bomb them down to 33% readiness, in a few turns of being left alone, those units will restore to combat readiness. I would submit that no realisitic amount of time passing would have allowed those 3 Iraqi divisions to become combat effective again.

The game's bombardment effects are all very temporary without equipment loss. And since equipment loss often entails just a return to the replacement pool, I dont see the problem with increasing lethality.

To take that thought further, when the game is reporting 'casualties' of 10 tanks, a handful of APC and a few squads and trucks, the majority of those are not even actually destroyed! If casualties from air strikes are going to reflect your views of 'reality' based on strike reports, then that equipment at the very least should be DEAD...gone and buried...not the majority of it waiting to be redistributed again!

quote:

Yeah. That's really not acceptable.


I agree, but that is the type of stuff that will happen when the AI is given control of the most effective way to use airpower. All I'm asking is for the PLAYER (you know, the guy actually playing the game) to be given the power (and effectiveness) that the AI has with regards to air power.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 2:57:45 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

And the fact that they had little to no equipment left by the time the ground troops arrived. Almost nothing of those three divisions was captured or KO'ed by Coalition ground forces.


For the amount of equipment left, see Industrial's statistics. Qualitative statements about individual units are less informative.

quote:

In the game, even IF you managed to bomb them down to 33% readiness, in a few turns of being left alone, those units will restore to combat readiness.


About five turns. Were the Germans still disorganised from the long bombardment when the British went over the top ninety years ago this weekend?

quote:

To take that thought further, when the game is reporting 'casualties' of 10 tanks, a handful of APC and a few squads and trucks, the majority of those are not even actually destroyed!


Half. Half are destroyed.

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Post #: 108
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 3:18:04 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

About five turns. Were the Germans still disorganised from the long bombardment when the British went over the top ninety years ago this weekend?


I could be wrong, but I dont believe there were B52s ninety years ago this weekend. In fact, I dont believe there was much in the way of airpower at all...

I still dont understand the resistance to allowing the player access to the same power as the AI 'interdiction' strikes. At the very least, it would be a useful counter-tactic to above mentioned ability to move AA or lesser needed units first thereby 'drawing off' the computer controlled effective arm of the air strikes.

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Post #: 109
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 5:23:08 AM   
canuck64


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I'm not sure about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but it seems clear that the damage model in TOAW 3 needs some massaging in some instances. It also seems clear that anyone thinking that "AIR POWER IS PURELY LETHAL AT ALL TIMES" is deluded by recent US success against a nominal 2nd world power, in as open terrain as exists on the planet. And you have your stats for that, and the rest of us note that the only one trying to twist the facts to support a more substantive conclusion, is Uncle_Joe.

To wit: I have family that work for NATO that were very concerned that there was going to be little to NO intervention in Yugoslavia at all, since the US and NATO forces felt it was suicide to put troops on the ground, but also since study after study conducted by the US military felt that little good could be accomplished hurling billion dollar aircraft at mobile targets that might yield a 10% AT BEST return on investment. Recall this is not ground forces destroyed necessarily. This would represent a lot of (temporary) discomfiture.

There are a LOT of unquantifiables here to bring to the picture-but the most important, and most understated function of air power is TERROR on the population, and damage to infrastructure. Bridges, buildings, port facilities, hangars, etc. these are the air targets as they are big, fixed and quantifiable as damage laden.
As well, the Blitz in London, the fire bombing of Aachen demonstrate that your citizenry, as they look to the skies and wonder (after that famous roman paraphrase) when the roof will cave in, are not as likely to report for work, work hard, work without undue stress, drink more, fight more, etc.
Ultimately, bombing from the air, shelling and general bombardment is an ineffective way to deliver munitions for kills. Kills are overrated anyway. Causing damage to infrastructre and wounding are the effective military goals-as the both use up 10x the restoring equipment and supplies (engineers, back hoes, nurses, doctors, medecines).
Thus the most effective military tool is, and always has been, the unglamorous land mine, followed closely by the single fanatic laden with bombs in his/her jacket.
Not sexy, hunh? But the reality. You want to emulate all of that in TOAW? Or settle for the fact that your testosterone-addled airpower is not the deal killer DE FACTO that it's held to be? It is, however, a morale killer, big-time.
So let's stop arguing stats, cause the stats 'feel' about right-with tweaking. Let's start seeing how we might prolong or make adverse morale response to air superiority in theater. Not a question of actual bombardment, mind you. The threat of a bombardment is what brings countries to their knees.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 7:01:51 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Again, I think you are comparing apples to oranges. I dont know where you get this "testosterone-addled airpower" crap from and I'm trying to specifically exclude the US bombing campaigns in Kosovo and/or Iraq. They are examples of air power vs dug in and scattered enemies.

If you want to see some excerpts of EFFECTIVE air power:

Taken from the IAF History page:

quote:

Following the IAF's preliminary air attack, it was able to thwart and harass
the Arab air forces and to grant itself air superiority over all fronts; it
then complemented the strategic effect of their initial strike by carrying
out tactical support operations. Of particular interest was the destruction
of the Jordanian 60th armored brigade near Jericho and the attack on the
Iraqi armored brigade which was sent to attack Israel through Jordan.


Note 'destruction of Jordanian 60 armored brigade'. This was a combat summary of ONE DAY'S worth effort.

How about this from the '73 war:

quote:

On the 14th of October, Israeli air power reacted powerfully to the
Egyptian offensive as it attempted to move outside the established air
defenses. One Egyptian tank column penetrated 12 miles to the Milta-Ras
Sudan road where they were held up by Israeli paratroopers. Israeli air-
craft attacked and severly damaged the column. Within two hours of the
opening of the offensive, Israeli aircraft had accounted for sixty Egyptian
tanks and a large quantity of armored personnel carriers along with artillery.


60 tanks and a large quantity of APCs and artillery....in TWO HOURS. I'll note that this is the sum total of the IAF at the war's outset:

130 F-4 Phantom Fighter bombers
160 A-4 Skyhawk Attack aircraft
60 Mirage III Interceptors (BARAK)
50 Super Mystere B.2 Fighter bombers

Note there are no 'PGM' aircraft and the entire thing was barely 300 aircraft, many of which were on the Golan front. So likely less than 100 aircraft (probably significantly less) inflicted SUBSTANTIAL losses in two hours.

Lets move to WW2:

quote:

The ordeal of the German Panzer-Lehr Division offers a good example of the fate awaiting German ground forces in Normandy. Ordered north to confront the invasion, the armored division got underway in the late afternoon of June 6, and came under its first air attack at 0530 on the 7th near Falaise...Air attack destroyed more than 200 vehicles on June 7 alone. Despite the rainy weather, which had threatened the Allies' landing on the beachhead, fighter- bombers continued to strike at the Panzer-Lehr Division, to the dismay of German soldiers who had hoped the worsening weather would offer some respite.


More than 200 vehicles destroy in ONE DAY (and in bad weather). With WW2 aircraft.

Here is an example of WW2 airpower on static units:

quote:

Bayerlein left a remarkable account of the effects of the Cobra bombing and ground assault on his already war-weary command. In response to postwar nterrogation he wrote: We had the main losses by pattern bombing, less by artillery, still less by tanks and smaller arms. The actual losses of dead and wounded were approximately:
by bombing 50%
by artillery 30%
by other weapons 20%


Thats 50% loss by AIR...not ground units...in a 3 day bombing campaign.

This is from Bayerlein's memoirs:

quote:

The digging in of the infantry was useless and did not protect against bombing .... Dugouts and foxholes were smashed, the men buried, and we were unable to save them. The same happened to guns and tanks . . . . it seems to me, that a number of men who survived the pattern bombing . . . surrendered soon to the attacking infantry or escaped to the rear.

The first line has [sic] been annihilated by the bombing.... The three-hour bombardment on 25.7-after the smaller one a day before-had extermi- nating morale effect on the troops physically and morally weakened by continual hard fighting for 45 days. The long duration of the bombing, without any possibility for opposition, created depressions and a feeling of helplessness, weakness and inferiority. Therefore the morale attitude of a great number of men grew so bad that they, feeling the uselessness of fighting, surrendered, deserted to the enemy or escaped to the rear, as far as they survived the bombing. Only particularly strong nerved and brave men could endure this strain.

The shock effect was nearly as strong as the physical effect (dead and wounded). During the bombardment. . . some of the men got crazy and were unable to carry out anything. I have been personally on 24.7 and 25.7 in the center of the bombardment and could experience the tremendous effect. For me, who during this war was in every theater committed at the points of the main efforts, this was the worst I ever saw.

The well-dug-in infantry was smashed by the heavy bombs in their foxholes and dugouts or killed and buried by blast. The positions of infantry and artillery were blown up. The whole bombed area was transformed into fields covered with craters, in which no human being was alive. Tanks and guns were destroyed and overturned and could not be recovered, because all roads and passages were blocked ....


All of these do show that airpower can be (and has been) effective in smashing enemy units, not just reducing readiness and whatnot. Actual KILLS...equipment destroyed...knocked out. Now if you take the casualties above and nearly DOUBLE them, that is what we should see in TOAW due to the fact that half(?) are simply moved to the replacement pool and not truly destroyed.

I'm not saying that these have to be the norm either. But the current model does not allow for them to occur at all. What I would like to see is that actual strikes being at least as effective as the interdiction model is now. We currently have ZERO info on how interdiction is resolved (ie, how many planes actually attack, are there modifiers to the attack etc). Player designated strikes have almost no chance of even coming close to the results listed above....its not even in the same ballpark.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 7:08:12 AM   
Szilard

 

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For detail on the Gulf War Air Power Survey, see: http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/gwapsv2.doc

Probably important to note that vehicles were not the top priority during most of the air bombardment phase (artillery was).

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 7:27:50 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

only one trying to twist the facts to support a more substantive conclusion, is Uncle_Joe


I'm not trying to 'twist the facts' at all. I'm presenting an argument that you perhaps dont agree with. Its that simple. I can do without your attempts at veiled insults.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 7:45:19 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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At this point, I no longer care to attempt to convince anyone one way or the other. Instead, I'll just focus on using what is there to 'correct' the problems as I see them and not worry about what the official party line is anymore. So to that end....

Attempted solutions and further testing:

In my efforts further to understand the air modeling, I've been playing with various levels of PGM and Air Shock. In the process of these tests one other thing has become apparent...Even in the current build, AA does not inflict many casualties at all on air units performing interdiction.

In the A10 test scen that Chuck posted, I followed his later methodology and increased the PGM modifier to 500 and the Night modifier to 100. I put all the aircraft on Interdiction to test it out. And, as expected with that many planes on that small of a map, the interdiction was beyond lethal. The first few units barely moved a hex or two before being pummeled to about 60-70% strength and being 'broken'. The next few managed to move a little here and there, but they to were hit hard and 'broken'. The last few moved unscathed.

Some things to note:

1) As observed above, the A10s suffered almost no casualties (average of 3-5 per unit). This is with the current 'enhanced AA' build. Is this intended? Why do 'strikes' suffer horrifically more casualties than the same aircraft on Interdiction? Perhaps this is a significant portion of the reason for the disparity of results.

2) Its quite easy to 'fool' the Interdiction and simply move less useful units first allowing later units a free ride. This is a huge problem IMO. If Interdiction is going to be the most effective method of using air power, then it should be harder to 'draw off' on weaker (or worse, AAA) units.

3) Performing actual strikes with this level (6x) of PGM results in fairly high armor casualties for older vehicles, but also high air losses. Again, I expect the air losses to decrease from the patch (substantially from Chuck's testing). Losses for higher end vehicles (T80/T90) are still quite low despite the 500% increase in firepower.

Question:

Is there any difference in 'Air Shock' and 'PGM Modifier' for PGM equipped aircraft (assuming both are set to the same level). In other words, can I achieve a better Air to Ground result for ALL aircraft (not just PGM equipped ones) simply by increasing the 'Air Shock' to a similar value?

If the Air Shock value is increased on both forces, will that result in a wash when it comes to Air to Air combat or will it still be substantially more lethal with a higher Air Shock value?

Thanks in advance!



< Message edited by Uncle_Joe -- 7/1/2006 7:46:53 AM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 9:33:00 AM   
Bloodybucket28th


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Uncle_Joe seems to have identified a couple of valid problems here, the first being the well known "gamey tactic" of moving AA units to absorb and destroy interdicting air units.  I don't recall that any of the TOAD folks have said that there was going to be an attempt to change this, but it does seem like it would be worth fixing.

The differing results between interdicting and striking could be explained in part by the difference between attacking deployed forces and forces on the road, but in an operational game I think that tactical abstraction can only go so far, and the results shouldn't be so disparate.

While there is room for disagreement on the historical or theoretical effectiveness of air power vs. various ground targets, I think a conservative baseline in the "vanilla" game that could be tweaked by scenario designers or the "son of Bio-edit" would probably be the best choice, and instead of a big increase in the "hard" kills that non PGM using air strikes get against AFVs across the board, a better path might be to increase the kills vs. soft targets and the overall secondary non-killing effects.

As to the examples Uncle_Joe provides, I would say that they represent (as he says) some extreme cases, and some questionable memories.  The combination of desert terrain, a highly skilled Israeli Air Force, and the training (or lack thereof) of the enemy ground forces allowed the Israelis to get those results, and in one of the cases sited the Arabs were engaged against ground forces at the same time.  I will admit that I haven't delved into the Arab/Israeli conflicts very deeply, and it could well be that this is a strong argument for upping the killing effect of airpower in TOAW when dealing with this era and the forces involved. 

In regards to the WWII examples, there is some pretty strong evidence that Gen. Bayerlein is giving far too much credit to Allied airpower.  This might be explained by remembering that Generals, as a rule, even the Wehrmacht, spent little time at the front, and that since it was the Luftwaffe's job to stop the Allied air forces, defeated army commanders might naturally overemphasize the importance of enemy airpower in any defeats they suffered.  The records maintained by the German army do not bear him out, according to some sources, and I'm guessing a lot of the impression that we get of the killing effect of allied airpower comes from anecdotal memories and not actual facts. 

This doesn't mean that the morale destroying, delaying and disruptive effects of air attacks were trivial, but it seems to indicate that in Normandy, they weren't great at destroying things.  See this page for a lengthy presentation of that thesis.

It may well be that the whole tacair question has changed so much from WWII to the present day that it is asking a lot of TOAW to digest both ends of the timeline without individual scenario "tweaks", both due to rapidly evolving technology and the vast differences in terrain, training and doctrine that each conflict brings to the gaming table.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 4:14:35 PM   
Chuck2


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Hi,

Did you use all 500 A-10s on interdiction on that small map scaled at 5 kilometers per hex? If so, that's a fairly dicey test as you'll see 75% interdiction levels. I tested this with 33% night combat proficiency and 200% PGM and you still can wipe out the tank units in short order. Now, these are unrealistic results! Perhaps interdiction needs to be toned down. I've had read many comments from players and designers that TOAW 3 interdiction is too good now at forcing ground units into reorganization or even routed status. The way the fix this is hopefully by turning AA units into something more than infantry weapons.

< Message edited by Chuck2 -- 7/1/2006 4:55:03 PM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 4:36:21 PM   
Chuck2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheBloodyBucket

Uncle_Joe seems to have identified a couple of valid problems here, the first being the well known "gamey tactic" of moving AA units to absorb and destroy interdicting air units. I don't recall that any of the TOAD folks have said that there was going to be an attempt to change this, but it does seem like it would be worth fixing.


Ralph has indicated he wants to remove this tactic from the game at some point and replace it with something more realistic.

quote:

The differing results between interdicting and striking could be explained in part by the difference between attacking deployed forces and forces on the road, but in an operational game I think that tactical abstraction can only go so far, and the results shouldn't be so disparate.


Generally, it depends a lot on the map scale and size of units. However, it might be a good idea to tone down interdiction if it is causing too many problems. Many scenarios already have house rules against putting certain units on interdiction. With the increased rates of reorganization and routs on units traveling under interdiction, they are going to find it even more troubling. It would be better if interdiction could be kept as is though with other modifications. Who knows what will happen.

quote:

It may well be that the whole tacair question has changed so much from WWII to the present day that it is asking a lot of TOAW to digest both ends of the timeline without individual scenario "tweaks", both due to rapidly evolving technology and the vast differences in terrain, training and doctrine that each conflict brings to the gaming table.


Indeed.

< Message edited by Chuck2 -- 7/1/2006 5:04:43 PM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 5:04:05 PM   
JJKettunen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuck2
Perhaps interdiction needs to be toned down.


Indeed it should. I think interdiction was originally enhanced because the supply decrease it caused wasn't enough thanks to the marginal effect of supply in the game (where the "normal" condition of a unit is to have supply level of 1%), but now it is ruining many a scenario (without house rules).

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 6:53:53 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

Did you use all 500 A-10s on interdiction on that small map scaled at 5 kilometers per hex? If so, that's a fairly dicey test as you'll see 75% interdiction levels. I tested this with 33% night combat proficiency and 200% PGM and you still can wipe out the tank units in short order. Now, these are unrealistic results! Perhaps interdiction needs to be toned down. I've had read many comments from players and designers that TOAW 3 interdiction is too good now at forcing ground units into reorganization or even routed status. The way the fix this is hopefully by turning AA units into something more than infantry weapons.


Well, 500 A10s is basically the entire US military's Cold War inventory being used in one concentrated area and with no opposing air or anti-air assets to hinder the interdiction. The enemy is also 100% observed and moving on the equivalent of a billiard table in terms of cover. The results should probably be quite unrealistic under those conditions (because they dont resemble anything like combat conditions at all).

Its very possible that interdiction forces too many reorganizations/routs, but with the current system, I prefer that to the same units being able to draw off even more of your air strength. Without the 'paralyzing' effect, the same unit (or small group of units) could absorb the whole of the opposing interdiction leaving the rest of the force free.

If that issue were to be corrected, then yeah, I wouldnt mind seeing the number of reorganizations/routs go down from interdiction. This is something completely scale dependent though. For example, in the TWW scen I am piddling with, I've never seen more 3-4% Interdiction Level even with the bulk of the entire NATO air forces on Interdiction missions. The map is 25km/hex, but it covers Norway to Iran so its quite large. I think the interdiction is really only a problem at the lower scales where the levels can become very high. Perhaps instead of changing interdiction per se, simply adjust the variables for the scaling instead to lower the Interdiction Level at the smaller map scales?

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 7/1/2006 8:38:54 PM   
canuck64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

quote:

only one trying to twist the facts to support a more substantive conclusion, is Uncle_Joe


I'm not trying to 'twist the facts' at all. I'm presenting an argument that you perhaps dont agree with. Its that simple. I can do without your attempts at veiled insults.


It clearly wasnt' a veiled insult but it was meant to ask you to look critically at your own 'interpretations. I suppose when all you have is a hammer, all problems look like nails.

I said you're twisting facts and being needlessly argumentative, because you are.. Several in here have tried to post polite stats that uphold the idea that air power is not the be all and end all-yet you (pretty much alone) seem unswayed. I don't wish to insult you, but when presented with factual reference (admittedly not much of, and not the kind you want) you start with the "lies, damned lies and statistics" argument, rather than say it's your PREFERENCE that air be modelled more powerfully, you argue that the engine is "broke". Just stop arguing 'pseudo-objectively', there's plenty of room in here for polite disagreement. You seem rather thin-skinned and quick to charge at windmills of your own making. Your subjective take on the subject is just as good as anyone else's, and at least there are posts in here referring to (not the right kind, again) real life experience.

I suppose ultimately we'll have to await the patch for the AA, because I see ahistorical results not in terms of damage done by air, but damage done TO air....which arguably in turn makes air much more ineffective, which makes it possibly overpowered. It's all grist for the mill until we see different from the air model as a whole I suppose.

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