From: Vienna, Austria
My motivation to type this is simple that I still notice (in AARīs and single posts) lots of complaints about the way airstrikes are coordinated.
Im not sure why so many have a hard time understanding mission (Iīm using this term on purpose as its not only valid for strikes) coordination. Maybe its
because many look at it from a bombers vs. fighters or mission type by mission type perspective.
This is simply not the case.
If I understand the coordination model correctly (which I think I do because most of my flights coordinate nicely, except for unavoidable "escort looses contact with raid" situations
or bad weather/luck) its VERY simple and can be enhanced by the player to a complexity level of his own desire.
So I hope I my can help and tried to write the
The Air Mission Coordination Guide
(if you have comments please comment, Iīm by far not the end of all knowledge on this topic )
What the game tries to do is to coordinate missions based on altitude, range and target.
There are some other factors as plane type but these are minor ones.
Lets start with a single base of origin and a single base as a target, base A and B.
1) Attacker has 1 fighter and 1 bomber squad at base A and wants to fly a coordinated attack on base B.
Thats the simple scenario that everyone should have guessed how to best coordinate: simply by setting the fighters to the same altitude as the bombers
(additionaly but not mandatory the fighter squad could be set to target B).
The game engine recognizes this and tries to coordinate the attack. Leadership, pilot experience and weather and a bad dice roll still can prevent coordination
but chances are high that the strike arrives on target at the same time as the escorting fighters.
2) Attacker has 2 fighter and 2 bomber squads at A and wants to attack B.
Now the player has a choice:
He could set all squads to the same altitude the game engine makes the same check as in 1) and tries to coordinate the strike. The chance of success is probably a bit
reduced because there are more squads (more leadership checks and other dice rolls involved) but most probably the 4 squads arrive at the same time over target.
On the other hand the player could do something different:
He can set 1 fighter and 1 bomber squad to, say, 10k alt and the other two to 11k.
Whats the result? The game engine makes the usual check on altitude and tries to plan 2 coordinated strikes, one with the first pair and one with the second.
Chances are high that the first bomber pack arrives with first escort and the second bomber pack with the second escort.
But the engine makes a second check: if all 4 squads have the same target selected there is a (reduced) chance that all 4 squadrons arrive on target but it
has a significantly lower chance than in the example above.
What is the advantage of the second choice?
Well, plain and simple the second way of doing things has a higher chance of coordination per strike, because the strike packages are smaller.
So theres is less chance that somewhere in the resolution phase a lonely bomber squad arrives on target completely without excort.
Its easier to coordinate 2 40 planes strikes than 1 80 plane strike!
3) Now we add a 3rd base, C, another enemy base. Lets say the distance to the bases is the same, so range doesnt matter.
The attacker wants wants to attack base B with an escorted strike and base C without escorts because he knows this base has no fighter cover.
Solution: He sets bomber squad 1 to 10k and targets base B, both fighter squadrons are set to without target selection 10k.
The second bomber squadron is set to 11k and base C as a target.
The game engine makes the altitude check and recognizes that bomber squadron 1 and both fighter squads want to get coordinated.
So chances are high that the result is an escorted attack on B and an unescorted on C.
4) This is the last one (phew) and the most comlicated but I just want to show what you can accomplish with strike coordination if used wisely:
The attacker has 3 Bases. A, B and C
The defender has 2 Bases, D and E
Base A and B are pure bomber bases, base C is a fighter base, closer to the frontline.
Lets say you want to make a coordinated strike on base D, which is heavily guarded, and E which is lightly guarded but needs the higher success rate (for whatever reason)
Number of squadrons is not of importance but please do not forget that the higher the number of squadrons/planes involved, the lower the chances that
every single strike gets coordinated.
First you could select with which bombers to attack which target base. You select all bombers on base A to attack base E and want some frome base B to join
the fun because the strike on E needs to hit home. The rest attacks base D
Base A: select target E, select 10k for all base A bombers.
Base B: select 50% of the bombers to target base E and set them to 10k. Set the rest of the bombers to target base D
and set them to 12k.
Why? Because now comes the fighters. and you want them to escort exactly what you tell them to and leave no chances (or at least as few as possible).
As said before, base D is better guarded. Because of this set e.g. 70% of the fighters to 12k, split between sweep and escort mission however you desire
(and target base D but, again, you donīt have to because the coordination based on altitude could be enough)
Set the rest to 10k and also either escort or sweep.
What does the game engine do now? It again checks for alt coordination. It recognizes you want to coordinate a strike on base D with 50% of base B bombers
and 70% of base C fighters and tries to accomplish it.
It also recognizes you want to coordinate 100% base A bombers and 50% of base B bombers with 30% of base C fighters to attack base E and tries to accomplish
If all goes well you get two beautifully coordinated strikes. There are many things that can go wrong but this way you maximize the chances.
Doīs and dontīs:
- Select different altitudes for your strikes in one area. This is important. You are unneccesarily confusing the game engine if you donīt.
- Other missions that take place in the same area that do not need coordination for whatever resaon should also be set to unique altitudes
- Never assume that a sweep arrives before a strike just because sweeps should launch before the strike. This is only true combined with altitude
- Smaller strikers have much higher chances of coordination than a 250 plane I-want-to-dim-out-the-sun whacker. If you can accomplish something with low
numbers or expect high resistance its sometimes better to plan several smaller strikes on different altitude bands than a single big one which simply is
to large to get proper coordination and could lead to completely unescorted raids.
- Donīt forget that theres more factors involved: range to target, AC type, weather over orogin and target bases, leadership value, pilot experience.
Adapt to those factors!
- Trying to attack a heavily guarded base from 4 directions, with 10 different plane types, without training, wrong leaders during a thunderstorm
and other missions set to the same altitude is the best way to improve the mood of your opponent.
Iīm quite new to writing guides, I hope this helps some. I know it works for me, and if it didnīt, well, then I usually can find out in no time why it
Good hunting guys!