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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 4/27/2010 11:39:01 PM   
K.Pooley


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Turn 22
After some technical difficulties we're back in action, so here goes.

The graph below shows that the turn went very badly indeed. Easing off on attacks gave my forces a chance to recover, with more LW a/c available than for the past four days. But that that was more than compensated for by the unprecedented recovery of RAF numbers. Sector AFs also recovered a little which didn't help. It's true to say that the LW is back roughly to where it was three days ago, except that AS is actually worse than it was FOUR days ago.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 4/27/2010 11:40:37 PM   
K.Pooley


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So... Continue hammering at Sector AFs, and just for this one day assault ignore radar which seems to be fairly well under control:






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 4/27/2010 11:50:45 PM   
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The table below gives an indication of which sector AFs need damaging the most:






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 4/29/2010 10:44:19 PM   
K.Pooley


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The Raids

Starting at the bottom of the list (least damaged AFs) I allocated as heavy a raid as I could to each, allowing for how remote the target was and escort availability. So, for example, I don't hit Digby because by the time I had allocated raids to Church Fenton and Wittering I didn't have sufficient assets to do anything. Overall though I did manage to target 8 out of the bottom 10, some of them twice. Obviously there are exceptions, but most raids were well-escorted, although a small number, mainly those hitting coastal targets, will have to trust to luck!

Now, you may ask what is the point of bombing airfields that are already showing 90+% damage. No? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. Apart from Tangmere which is just about the only sector AF in range of the Stukas (if only I had some '87-Rs Of course then I'd need a load of '109E-7s to escort them)

As we all know, the way that the game handles damage for AFs, as well as the scoring of that damage is very different to other target-types. At very high damage levels recconnaisance aircraft have difficulty spotting recovery/repairs of structures and comms, and so a 'lag' can occur with AFs appearing to be still badly damaged when they are not. Note that this is completely seperate from FoW.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/1/2010 6:19:13 PM   
K.Pooley


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This is the AS picture the morning after the two all out waves of bombers had struck. Overnight I've gone from agonising over the worse situation in four days to celebrating the best yet:






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/1/2010 6:33:01 PM   
K.Pooley


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Obviously this 22% rise in AS is mainly the result of an 18% rise in damage to Sector AFs. But over the same period my ready a/c levels have slumped by nearly 16%, so why has this not dragged the final figure down? Simple, Swift's ready levels have dropped by nearly 13%, and, as I explained before, the formula used makes AS much more sensitive to his ready levels than mine.

The table below gives the uptodate situation regarding his Sector AFs. Note that all have a 1-day old photo, and most will have two, as each was the target for two recce flights yesterday, one at 5,000' and the other in the 20-30,000' range.




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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/1/2010 11:45:25 PM   
K.Pooley


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Turn 23

I intend to continue hitting the Sector AFs as hard as possible, with large (mainly) well-escorted raids, with priority given to targetting the least-damaged first. All units will fly two missions, irrespective of morale. The really tricky question is what to do about the radar. If left untouched for a second day several radar stations are likely to come back to life, greatly aiding Fighter Command. However, given the number of nearly-operational sites in the SE of England it could divert a lot of bombers from their main role - delivering the knock out blow to the enemy.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/2/2010 9:24:11 PM   
K.Pooley


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In the end I opted for hitting just those that were <75% damaged, and in the main combat areas. This resulted in only five being targeted.

The timetable for the day was as follows:

0600 - RADAR recces.

0800 - Bomb all RADAR.

0915 - Bomb Sector AFs (1st wave)*

1525 - Bomb Sector AFs (2nd wave)*

1630 - Sector AFs recces (2 missions per AF)

* Also small number of raids on occupied SECAFs, mainly by Stukas, FBs or fighters.



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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/9/2010 10:34:53 AM   
K.Pooley


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Turn 24

I don't think this battle can last much longer. HUMINT received suggests that Fighter Command are on the verge of breakdown, with many exhausted squadrons having to be withdrawn from frontline stations in order to rest.

Unfortunately the LW are in a similar state. Despite hurling eveything at the sector AFs the AS score has dropped a little, a catastrophic loss in LW ready numbers being partly offset by a drop in RAF numbers.

Conclusion
This strategy appears doomed to failure, as the experience of two turns ago showed, since resting the LW gives the RAF time to recover (and their problem is just fatigue, not massive attrition as well) as well as a breathing space for the sector AFs to repair.





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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/9/2010 2:47:54 PM   
K.Pooley


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Possible Solutions
Lower?
Dropping raids to even lower altitudes will of course increase accuracy, but may also produce a disastrous increase in damage to bomber formation. While responsible for only 16% of aircraft destroyed outright, flak has resulted in damage to twelve times as many. An increase in this figure could in itself have a serious effect on the LW's ability to continue the fight, reducing readiness aircraft still further.

Smaller Raids?
Not quite as daft as it sounds, launching a larger number of smaller raids might cause more disruption since the maths clearly demonstrate that damage to a target does not increase in proportion to the size of the raid. Carried to its logical conclusion, a series of raids by single gruppen could provide best results. I imagine something like a pulse laser instead of a beam laser, although maybe the anaology isn't that close! Anyway, the difficulty of providing fighter cover for such a fragmented series of raids does of course present problems.

SECAFs not PRIAFs?
The strategy of hitting sector AFs seems a fairly sound one, as (as well as scoring AS points obviously) it causes disruption to all associated satellite stations. Hitting individual SECAFs would of course cause damage to runways and structures, as well as compounding any comms damage.

Conclusion
Operating at altitudes of between 4,000-12,500' is quite dangerous enough already. Maybe a combination of the other two approaches would work?


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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/9/2010 10:15:10 PM   
K.Pooley


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Details of SECAFs in 11 Group:

Editted because I uploaded the wrong table





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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/9/2010 10:18:11 PM   
K.Pooley


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Sector AFs






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/12/2010 12:01:07 AM   
K.Pooley


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THE PLAN
It's rarely a good idea to change most components of a strategy at the same time, but this is what I've decided to go with. Times are take off times:

0600 - RADAR recces.

0730 - Bomb most important RADAR targets (see below)

0815 - Fighter sweeps against all occupied Sector AFs and SECAFs in 11 Group.

0915 - 1st Bombing Wave - Bomb all occupied Sector AFs and SECAFs in 11 Group.

1415 - Fighter sweeps against all occupied Sector AFs and SECAFs in 11 Group.

1515 - 2nd Bombing Wave - Repeat of 1st Bombing Wave.

1630 - Recce all Sector AFs and SECAFs on today's target list.


...plus a number of 'odd' raids by Stukas, FBs or fighters.



RADAR
As yesterday, aiming to target the minimum number of sites to conserve resources, ignoring the North, South West and Wales. This gives just five this time:

Canewdon
Dunwich
High Street
Ingoldmels
Truleigh

If this strategy works I won't need to worry about Swift's radar for much longer!

AFs
Looking at the recce figures shows that this is a total of 12; the 11 occupied SECAFs plus Hornchurch.


SORTIES
As yesterday this is a maximum-effort day. This is why I think this is sustainable, at least for a few days:

I have been monitoring MOR levels of 17, He 111 gruppen over the past three turns, and the results are quite interesting.

This graph compares the MOR losses or gains, compared with the units' starting MOR for the turn. It shows that as a gruppe's MOR at the start of the day drops, so the change of it dropping further during the day is descreased. In fact below a starting figure of about 24 there is actually a good chance of it increasing! Why do I think this is? Probably a number of things. Since the chance of breaking off an attack in the face of opposition increases as MOR gets lower it seems reasonable to assume that a unit breaking off is less likely to take casualties on that mission. Since casualties lower MOR this would make sense.

Secondly, just as replacement crews joining a unit bring with them their personal starting EXP they must similarily each have their own MOR. The lower a unit's morale becomes the more likely that the introduction of replacement crews will actually increase the MOR of the unit.

I would suggest that together these two effects serve to 'cushion' a unit's morale, with a positive pressure acting on it below a certain point. That would certainly explain why I have never, ever, ever seen a gruppe with a morale <12.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/12/2010 12:02:47 AM   
K.Pooley


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This second graph, plotting starting MOR against losses suffered during the day would seem to support my theory, as higher MOR gruppen definitely suffer higher losses, presumably because of their refusal to break in the face of the enemy.

[---Edited for punctuation ---]





One more thing on this subject; two days ago, bombing flat out, the average MOR of my He 111 gruppen dropped from 38.6 to 31.8, compared with yesterday, under similar conditions, when it didn't change at all. It will be interesting to what happens this turn; if it really has bottomed out.


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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/13/2010 8:23:41 PM   
K.Pooley


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Some slight changes to my plan as originally made. The 2nd Fighter Sweep mutated into fairly heavy escorts for some of the 2nd Bomber Wave, as I had left myself a bit short for a decent 2nd FS. Also my recce assets were a bit thin on the ground come the 1630 recce slot, but I think I managed to cover most of the important AFs with some multi-tasking.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/14/2010 11:19:55 AM   
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Kevin, thanks for this detailed AAR. I´m reading it with great interest.

I´m about to buy this game and you and Swift help a lot to get into details again. (I played the original BoB by Talonsoft ages ago but forgot most of it over time).



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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/14/2010 11:28:13 PM   
K.Pooley


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Thanks for the feedback.

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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/18/2010 8:24:03 PM   
K.Pooley


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Turn 25

Despite a drop in Sector AF damage (partially offset by an increase in LW readiness levels) AS soared, a direct result of an historic drop in RAF ready numbers.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/18/2010 8:32:13 PM   
K.Pooley


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So there is some merit in this new way of hammering FC! Red shows a significant increase in damage, while green is a significant reduction (i.e. better recce photos). I'm obviously very happy with the results, although I'm a bit confused by Castle Camps, which has gone from a 4-day old photo to a 2-day old one in just one day! Surely there should only be two possibilities in this case; either a failure to take a picture meaning that 4 days becomes 5, or a successful picture, meaning that 4 days becomes 1? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?




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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/20/2010 7:08:14 PM   
K.Pooley


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RADAR
Looking at the list below you can see how I've been storing up troubles for the future - and now the future's arrived!

Just attacking sites believed to be below 75%, and even letting the 'borders' of the radar-free zones contract further in the N & SW I still need to attack the twenty sites ticked below. This will obviously cut into my forces available to hit the real targets, the AFs.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/20/2010 7:29:27 PM   
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that is one blind looking britain ! quite terryfying from a british perspective .. Well played.

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sorry for the spelling . English is my main language , I just can't type . and i'm too lazy to edit :)

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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/20/2010 10:50:09 PM   
K.Pooley


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rob Brennan UK

that is one blind looking britain ! quite terryfying from a british perspective .. Well played.


Thank you kind sir, you are obviously a man of great intelligence and discernment!


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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/20/2010 11:33:58 PM   
K.Pooley


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The effect of concentrating on hitting 11 Group is apparent here. As with the SECAFs and RADAR tables it also shows that PR is nicely up to date.






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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/23/2010 11:38:09 PM   
K.Pooley


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Morale

As the table shows, morale amongst the crews in my test gruppen is remaining remarkably stable. Now I obviously don't think that I've discovered a new Universal Constant, and that there is law of nature that says the morale of LW bomber crews will tend towards 31.7 under conditions of heavy combat, but it will be interesting to see if it stays so stable in the future turns - assuming the game lasts much longer




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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/23/2010 11:48:23 PM   
K.Pooley


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Bomber Strength
This comes to 1,608 bomber-equivalents since stukas are single-use only, even though it's more complex than that, due to individual types different bombload/range profiles. It is however useful to have a rough idea of what's available when I start allocating units to specific attacks.

I don't know why my '88s should be out of action in such a large proportion, especially compared to the '111s, but the stukas' figures at least are easier to explain. For the past week or more they have been almost exclusively engaged in bombing RADAR and AFs on or near the coast, and given the lack of radar they have been much more likely to reach their target and return with little or no grief from the interceptors than was previously the case.





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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/23/2010 11:51:54 PM   
K.Pooley


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Drawing on the experience of the last few days, and with a pretty clear recce picture I am now in a position to plan the next days ops in detail.

With so much data allocating resources for attacks can be difficult. For some jobs, to help avoid the rather arbitrary decisions that can result, I make up my own rules of thumb. An example is my system to decide which RADAR sites to hit, based on %age damage and age of photo. The simpler system of less than75% damage and outside certain geographical areas is another. Another advantage is that it ensures that a particular strategy is implemented consistently from one turn to the next, either to enable a strategy to be evaluated fairly, or because the approach is felt to be a winning one.

The graph took seconds to produce, because the data is already in the table, and the y-axis just needs to be changed to a %age to produce a nicely symmetrical graph. If I wanted to assign a greater importance to either damage or aircraft numbers then I would draw lines at either more or less that 45 degrees, but I want them equally balanced in this case. Drawn as shown the top left-hand corner of the graph is the area of highest priority, while the lowest is in the bottom right-hand corner.

Of course I wouldn't usually go to the lengths of drawing the diagonal lines and colouring in the different zones, and would do it by eye, that is purely to show how the technique can work.





EDIT: To remove non-standard characters.

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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/27/2010 8:55:49 PM   
K.Pooley


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On another thread someone was asking what sort of bombing results they should expect, and I suggested that they set up some bombing runs and experiment. So how do I decide what altitude to bomb from? Obviously I try lots of similar runs and look to see what happens, just like in RL. I don't want to be tangling with any LAA while bombing the SECAFs this turn, since some of them have several dozen light guns.

So, how do I got about deciding the best height versus the known threat. The chart below shows estimated AA for 11 Group. Looking at SECAFs with HAA cover they can have 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, or 10 guns. Therefore I thought it might be useful to look at 4 x 3" and 8 x 3" hvy, and altitudes of 7,500' and 10,500'.





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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/27/2010 10:12:46 PM   
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AAR subscribed. Very useful infos. Thanks a lot!

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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/27/2010 11:35:17 PM   
K.Pooley


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Glad you found it!

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RE: BoB - Kevin v Swift - 5/27/2010 11:54:41 PM   
K.Pooley


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Flak Trials
The graph below shows the effects of flak during the course of 140 single-gruppe missions, divided between all four possible combinations of the two altitudes and two weights of flak. It's fairly straightforward once you have studied it a bit. Each mission consisted of a gruppe of Ju 88s approaching a defended target in one of the configurations. Of the 140 missions roughly a quarter were of each of the four types. All I did was record the number of aircraft damaged both before and after hitting the target, then used an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the average percentage of aeroplanes damaged in each attack.

Unfortunately the maths consist of a bit more than adding all the numbers up and dividing by the number of raids, and take into account such things as sample size and standard deviation, but if anyone is really interested in the details e-mail me.

What the graph shows is the 'range' in which the the average lies in each case. So, if you want to know the amount of damage a gruppe approaching a target at 10,500' is likely to suffer against eight 3" Hvy AA guns you look up the 4th category, and see that the average is given as being in the range of 6.7 - 13.1% That is to say that 95% of the time a gruppe of 30 aircraft will suffer between 2 and 4 aircraft damaged.






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