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Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 4/29/2010 6:05:50 PM   
viasistina

 

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So its January of 1945 and on the ground for all purposes the war is coming close to over. Probably the same in the air too, except in my game. I have the ruhr basin pretty much bombed out and there is red all the way to Berlin. So I decide its time to bomb Politz with a large well escorted force with another major raid to Bohlen. I've got the LF down 39% in fuel. I let the fighter command sweep ahead (AI chosen) and add a few of my own. I wait for the heavies to clear the area and send 2ATAF and the 9th in behind to deal with power, steel and fuel target in the Ruhr. Results---the Politz raid loses 89 bombers and the raid on Bohlen another 60!! Add up the spitfire losses and some of the mediums and I lose 275 aircraft on a single day. Disgusted, I wait a few days to rebuild and go after Bohlen again, this time losing 48 heavies. Unrealistic? In my mind yes. Sure, I get lazy and let the computer plot the raid but I do check them and usually add escorts. By the way, the ME-262's are firing those silly rockets and scoring 12 damaged and 9 kills on each volley...what's up with that?
Just had to get that off of my chest...
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 4/29/2010 6:26:12 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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Guess this means one needs even a heavier escort when dealing with the R4M armed jets.  Although the results in the war were never as drastic as your experience, it was what the commanders of the 8th AF feared.  Their response was to increase the fighter to bomber ratio in raids to 2-1 or more.  And to hunt out the 262 airfields and cover them with sweeps and bomb the heck out of them.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 4/29/2010 6:46:36 PM   
Hard Sarge


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Jan 1st, the R4M comes in, and yes, you going to get nailed if you let the 262s take off, which the bad news is any German Aircraft can carry them, but the way the 262 works, it is a very nasty combo

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 4/29/2010 8:00:43 PM   
Dobey455

 

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It's not enough just to put up a hevy escort and steam roller through, thats 1943 tactics. By this stage of the war you must be swimming in assets. I would sweep and patrol the jet bases constantly, strafe with fighters and hit with FB's that will really hurt their morale and numbers and effect their reaction times.
I would also think about using the tactical AF's on air suppression rather than hitting industry, but that's just my personal preference.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 4/30/2010 11:09:22 PM   
viasistina

 

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I forgot to add that the IA prevented the 8th from hitting anything but overlord targets clear through June July and August. Totally unrealistic and inauccurate. There were days and weeks where I had the entire 8th, including escorts pounding German troops in accord with the Overlord target list. None of this did any good, since the targets turned red (sometimes) for just a short period before returning to grey.

Has anyone designed a patch to make this stop happening?

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/1/2010 1:32:59 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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I've not gotten that far so I don't have any personal experience, but perhaps bombing the other Overlord targets which do no recover so quickly is the key to accumulating enough damage points to get the 8AF off the hook.

Of course you can always use the retargeting option - set up a raid against an allowed target, then change the primary to something else.

quote:

ORIGINAL: viasistina

I forgot to add that the IA prevented the 8th from hitting anything but overlord targets clear through June July and August. Totally unrealistic and inauccurate. There were days and weeks where I had the entire 8th, including escorts pounding German troops in accord with the Overlord target list. None of this did any good, since the targets turned red (sometimes) for just a short period before returning to grey.

Has anyone designed a patch to make this stop happening?


(in reply to viasistina)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/1/2010 3:34:52 PM   
Terminus


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The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/2/2010 1:01:24 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


Ah Terminus...another succinct response. I miss your directness over at the AE forum. We sure could use your approach over at AE. There have been a lot of long winded fantasy posts made over there recently.

Alfred

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/4/2010 10:20:04 PM   
Rusty1961

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


Fully = 100% on overlord targets? No strategic targets were bombed in those three months?

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/5/2010 1:30:36 AM   
bairdlander


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I think i read a post here saying that it makes no difference if you bomb the Overlord targets or not,D Day still happens.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/6/2010 11:32:14 AM   
harley


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bairdlander

I think i read a post here saying that it makes no difference if you bomb the Overlord targets or not,D Day still happens.


Correct, Consider D-Day an historical imperative.

Bombing Overlord targets will achieve 2 things - 1) advance the breakout of Normandy 2) get you back in the strategic saddle faster by advancing the breakout of Normandy

HARD Sarge has broken the line in early July, IIRC, but it took some effort.



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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/6/2010 5:06:50 PM   
Dobey455

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961


quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


Fully = 100% on overlord targets? No strategic targets were bombed in those three months?


Well something of somantics there in a way. I mean say you bomb the Paris rail terminus (no pun). Is that a strategic target? Yes. Is it an overlord target? Also yes. If you mean was Germany bombed at all in that time, well I would have thought so, but I have not done any research so can't say.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 12:56:24 AM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus
The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


And you are 100% incorrect in making such a blanket statement. A quick look at Freeman's Mighty Eight War Diary shows that strategic raids were made against Germany:

June 18th: Hamburg, Harburg, and Hannover
June 20th: Magdeburg, Hannover, Poelitz
June 21st: Berlin
June 29th: Boehlen, Leipzig
July 7th: Boehlen, Leipzig
July 11th: Munich
July 13th: Munich
July 16th: Munich, Stuttgart
July 19th: Augsburg, Schweinfurt, and other targets in southern Germany
July 20th: Leipzig, Merseburg, Erfurt, Gotha
July 21st: Munich, Duren, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, etc
July 29th: Mersebrug, Bremen
July 31st: Munich, Ludwigshafen
August 4th: Hamburg, Peenemunde, Kiel, Rostock
August 5th: Madgeburg, Brunswick, Hannover
August 6th: Brandenburg, Berlin, Hamburg
August 9th: Ulm, Pirmasens, Saarbrucken and other railyards in southern Germany
August 15th: Airfields inside Germany and Holland
August 16th: Oil and airfields in Germany - Boehlen, Zeitz, Madgeburg
August 24th: Brunswick, Merseburg, Brux, Ruhland
August 25th: Rostock, Politz, Peenemunde
August 26th: Ludwigshafen, Gelsenkirchen
August 27th: Flensburg railyard, Emden, Wilhemshaven, Helgoland

The other days were targeted against "Overlord" targets in game terms. Airfields, V-Weapon sites (Noball) and railyards (mostly in eastern France and Belgium - 9th AF took care of those closer to the front).

It is fully justifiable to use the retargeting work around to hit strategic targets in the game if you want to.

And worthwhile to know your facts before writing.





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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 1:08:17 AM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: harley
quote:

ORIGINAL: bairdlander
I think i read a post here saying that it makes no difference if you bomb the Overlord targets or not,D Day still happens.

Correct, Consider D-Day an historical imperative.
Bombing Overlord targets will achieve 2 things - 1) advance the breakout of Normandy 2) get you back in the strategic saddle faster by advancing the breakout of Normandy
HARD Sarge has broken the line in early July, IIRC, but it took some effort.


Furthermore, if you do nothing - no bombing at all of Overlord Targets - the Breakout still occurs around July 22nd. The ground war is pretty much fixed to an historical timeline. The best you can do is speed things up a little as the Allied. The German player can do nothing to slow down the timing of invasion and breakout events - they happen. So the key for the Allied player is to not lose the war by "early ending" and the ground forces will break the Westwall around March 22, 1945 and complete the occupation of Germany ending the war in victory. Of course, not suffering an "early ending" defeat is not necessarily a simple matter....

(in reply to harley)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 2:16:10 AM   
joliverlay

 

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I'd like to here the developers opinions. My comment below is a question not an acquisition.

I understand making a historical argument but, if the game requires an overlord target and you re-target to deliberately avoid a clearly stated requirement in the rules please explain how that is different than cheating? I assume the game was designed, play tested, and the victory conditions derived based on the rule being followed. Also, can you avoid the U-Boat targeting as well?

Regarding the targets you list. How many of them were for railroads or other overlord related targets (airfields)? Were some launched from Italy?

Do we have an idea of the percentage of 8AAF sorties flow against Overlord related or other targets?

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 7:46:50 AM   
JeffroK


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From Nicolas Bell

Detail in italic from Air War Europa  by Eric Hammel

June 18th: Hamburg, Harburg, and Hannover
In the first large strategic mission since DDay, 1,378 8thAF B17 & B24 are despatched to hit oil refineries around Hamburg & Missburg(Hanover)

June 20th: Magdeburg, Hannover, Poelitz
Raids on oil & industry at Hamburg, Industrial targets at Politz & Ostermoor, Fallesleben, Konigsburg, Magdeburg & oil targets at Hanover

More if needed

So after less than a fortnight strategic bombing of Germany continued.


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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 8:01:49 AM   
harley


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I guess it's one of those things.

We didn't take the exploit out, it's up to the player to use it or not. In a PBEM it's covered by house rules. The delay factors for Overlord and avalanche are fixed if you do nothing. It gets lower if you can attack and defeat the ground units. I could make the delay dynamic, dependent on the state at invasion time, but then I'd get guys complaining that the line didn't break till september, and I lost all my aircraft because I had to fly further into enemy territory, and the whole time I had to use the workaround so I could bomb important targets.

Y'all see where this is headed?

Failing to break the lines in time won't cost you the game. This is an Air Warfare game, not all service game like WITP. The ground units will push on without your help, but you can make it go better for them.

Breaking the lines early - and you can do it for both overlord and avalanche - will get you more victory points faster. It's up to you.


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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 2:47:58 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: joliverlay
I understand making a historical argument but, if the game requires an overlord target and you re-target to deliberately avoid a clearly stated requirement in the rules please explain how that is different than cheating? I assume the game was designed, play tested, and the victory conditions derived based on the rule being followed. Also, can you avoid the U-Boat targeting as well?

Regarding the targets you list. How many of them were for railroads or other overlord related targets (airfields)? Were some launched from Italy?

Do we have an idea of the percentage of 8AAF sorties flow against Overlord related or other targets?


As Jeff points out, these were not against Overlord related targets. The raids I listed were only the 8th AF raids, and do not include the 15th AF. They were against oil and aircraft factories primarily. There were also raids against railyards and airfields in Germany - which are of course in support of Overlord. It is interesting to note the number of raids against airfields in Germany. These were in response to the Allies ability via Ultra to know the Germans were preparing to send additional fighter units to France.

Without spending a few hours adding up the sortie counts, I would hazard a guess that the ratio of 8th AF targets in France vs Germany was 2 to 1. The 8th did spend a lot of time bombing airfields and V-1 launching sites.

I do not consider redirecting some (not all) raids against strategic targets as cheating because it is historical. It is an option - no one is forcing you to do it. I would not do without discussion with my PBEM opponent. In solitaire as the Allied I would not do it unless I was in danger of losing early, but that is just me. I brought up the fact to the hapless player who has made France and the Low Countries a "sea of red" and feels hamstrung by the 100% nature of the political targeting constraints. Actually, the game as it is, reflects Spaatz's fear that Eisenhower would in fact force him to only bomb Overlord targets. Eisenhower relented and allowed the bomber boys to continue the strategic air war on an on and off basis. David Irving's The War Between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command covers this well.

I don't look at BTR as a game to win or system to beat. Instead, I look at it as an adventure to be "enjoyed" as such through the process of execution. Therefore redirecting raids - or reallocating RAF fighters to escort US raids by manipulating the lead unit - are hardly cheating. They are just methods which enhance the historical flavor of the process for me. Which is also why I bomb German ground units extensively even though in game terms the results are minimal and bombing them doesn't really help you win (yes, it can possibly speed up the breakout, but the odds are long, and the breakouts happen even if you don't bomb). But I do it because it is historical. And when I get ordered to bomb Uboat pens or factories, I do that too.

And yes, you can redirect raids from any politically required target. Target a valid political target, assign your bombers, then manually retarget to something else. Like adding additional RAF fighters to escort the 8th AF, it is time-consuming and a hassle. But it's there if you want.

(in reply to joliverlay)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 3:04:04 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: harley

I guess it's one of those things.

We didn't take the exploit out, it's up to the player to use it or not. In a PBEM it's covered by house rules. The delay factors for Overlord and avalanche are fixed if you do nothing. It gets lower if you can attack and defeat the ground units. I could make the delay dynamic, dependent on the state at invasion time, but then I'd get guys complaining that the line didn't break till september, and I lost all my aircraft because I had to fly further into enemy territory, and the whole time I had to use the workaround so I could bomb important targets.

Y'all see where this is headed?

Failing to break the lines in time won't cost you the game. This is an Air Warfare game, not all service game like WITP. The ground units will push on without your help, but you can make it go better for them.

Breaking the lines early - and you can do it for both overlord and avalanche - will get you more victory points faster. It's up to you.



In a perfect world I would have it necessary to attack the ground units and railyards or the breakouts would be delayed - not just a potential benefit. This way it would promote historical Allied ground support, and give the Axis player a reason to attempt some air cover over their ground units - as they did. As it stands now, the incentive for either the Allied or Axis player to really bother with supporting the ground war is not commensurate with the effort. Both sides can sit back and do nothing and the war will progress historically. I would contend that had the Allied Airforces not supported their ground armies, the war would have taken a radically different course.

Continuing to dream, it would also be nice to have the Avalance and Overlord political restricts lifted occasionally if enough damage points are accumulated - similar to the U-Boat and V-Weapon routines. As it stands right now, the threshold requires the ground forces to advance to lift the restrictions.

(in reply to harley)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 4:04:05 PM   
harley


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nicholas Bell

quote:

ORIGINAL: harley

I could make the delay dynamic, dependent on the state at invasion time, but then I'd get guys complaining that the line didn't break till september, and I lost all my aircraft because I had to fly further into enemy territory, and the whole time I had to use the workaround so I could bomb important targets.



In a perfect world I would have it necessary to attack the ground units and railyards or the breakouts would be delayed - not just a potential benefit. This way it would promote historical Allied ground support, and give the Axis player a reason to attempt some air cover over their ground units - as they did. As it stands now, the incentive for either the Allied or Axis player to really bother with supporting the ground war is not commensurate with the effort. Both sides can sit back and do nothing and the war will progress historically. I would contend that had the Allied Airforces not supported their ground armies, the war would have taken a radically different course.

Continuing to dream, it would also be nice to have the Avalance and Overlord political restricts lifted occasionally if enough damage points are accumulated - similar to the U-Boat and V-Weapon routines. As it stands right now, the threshold requires the ground forces to advance to lift the restrictions.


Nicholas,

I agree in essence with what you are saying about making ground support necessary, but it needs to be taken with my hypothetical complaint in italics. It doesn't matter which way we jump, someone will whinge.

As for the threshold - there is one, you just haven't hit it yet. I'm fairly sure it's set in the OB at game start, but Waynno did the coding on that side, so I've never looked at it. I'm not saying it's set accurately, I'm just saying it's there...


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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 4:04:18 PM   
jjjanos

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961


quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


Fully = 100% on overlord targets? No strategic targets were bombed in those three months?



IIRC, 8th AF was 100% committed to support of Overlord both in the run-up to the invasion and in the first few weeks after the landing.

After that, the Army Air Corps received permission to bomb strategic targets if, and only if, weather forecasts for France/Low Countries indicated a high likelihood of bad bombing weather.

I.e. The heavies hit Germany in summer 1944, but only when they couldn't hit France.

(in reply to Rusty1961)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/7/2010 10:18:02 PM   
JeffroK


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11th June 1944
Scheduled attacks on targets in Germany are cancelled due to bad weather.
12th June 1944
ditto
13th June 1944
ditto
14th June 1944
ditto, except for 61 x B24 hitting oil at Emmerich
15th June 1944
Nearly 200 8thAF heavies hit oil at Hanover
16th June 1944
Weather cancels raids on Germany

It appears on face value, that the weather caused the delay in return to attacks on Germany and diverted the Heavies into continuing support of the landings.




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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/8/2010 1:20:52 AM   
joliverlay

 

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OK

If the game allows the Allied player to assign RAF groups that did not escort heavies to escort them by an exploit, and allows mandatory targets to be ignored by another exploit in the code, would you please add some counter exploits for the German players?

Maybe let us change FW190 F/G to something else. Delay invasions or break outs if the Allied forces don't bomb ground forces. Maybe give me some bombers to attack the UK while their defensive fighters are off escorting bombers. That sort of thing.



(in reply to harley)
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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/8/2010 7:54:16 AM   
otisabuser2


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Hi Joliverlay,

don't think the two exploits mentioned were intentionally designed-in by the programmers. They are accidental loop-holes. Neither break the game, unless used to excess by the players. Use is very much down to the reasoning of the person using. If you don't like them, don't use them.

Harley's time is valuable, and should be directed towards issues and the wants that affect the majority of the players. The items you would like included, should be judged on their own merits, not as a "balance" to existing exploits.

regards Otis

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/8/2010 12:16:43 PM   
JeffroK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: joliverlay

OK

If the game allows the Allied player to assign RAF groups that did not escort heavies to escort them by an exploit, and allows mandatory targets to be ignored by another exploit in the code, would you please add some counter exploits for the German players?

Maybe let us change FW190 F/G to something else. Delay invasions or break outs if the Allied forces don't bomb ground forces. Maybe give me some bombers to attack the UK while their defensive fighters are off escorting bombers. That sort of thing.





And you can research & build advanced aircraft months ahead of their IRL appearance?

Even playing the AI I am up against He219 & Ta154 in jan 44!

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/9/2010 2:38:45 AM   
joliverlay

 

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Otis

I was not serious (except perhaps about the FW190F/G). My point was that unintended exploits should be fixed. The political targets are the only device in the game to force the player to bomb things he actually had to bomb IRL. Letting folks "opt out" can break the game. I've played the game in this and in the previous form for a long time, and I've never seen any Allied player devote the resources to the ground war (over the course of the game) that would have been required IRL to support the ground war. Diversion of the Allied air forces for specific periods was a good compromise and should not have been broken.

JeffK

You should see the He219 before January 1944. Likewise, unless you destroy some specific factories (as the Allied bombers did IRL) the R/D should be considerably faster. Of course I don't know that you did not plaster German aircraft factories. The AI may also "cheat". I have no idea.


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Post #: 26
RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/13/2010 9:02:48 PM   
NAVMAN

 

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Hi All: Regarding the 8th AF missions of 6/18/44, 6/29/44, 7/11/44, 7/13/44, and 7/16/44,
my father flew those as a B17G bombardier assigned to the 325BS, 92BG(H), flying
out of Podington. On the 7/16/44 mission to Munich, his target was the BMW Aero Engine
Plant. As he related to me, as the force neared the Nurenburg area, the weather
deteriorated, with cloud tops to approx 30k Ft. The formation was forced to break apart
and the group came under heavy fighter attack. His plane, along with two others in the
92d, were shot down. The radio operator was killed in the plane and the copilot
"dumped" the air out of his chute to avoid landing in trees. The rest were captured and
he spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany. Ironically, their own plane,
"The Mountaineer" was down for repairs, so they flew another crew's plane, "Battle Baby".
In addition, their normal radio man was being trained as a lead crew radio man, so they
had a replacement. He was the man who died in the airplane.

Thx.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/14/2010 8:37:25 AM   
Erkki


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Personally I'd like to see all axis planes(except 109Ga2 and Ga6 perhaps) come one month LATE, unless researched. And research needed to advance date by month should be exponential, 100 planes for one month...

And on the other hand Allied player should need to bomb targets to keep the frontline moving historically. If he didnt, the ground war should stop or breakthrough dates should be delayed by months.

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RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/17/2010 3:25:07 AM   
Rusty1961

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nicholas Bell

quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus
The Allied strategic bomber forces were fully committed to Overlord targets in June through August. 100% historically accurate.


And you are 100% incorrect in making such a blanket statement. A quick look at Freeman's Mighty Eight War Diary shows that strategic raids were made against Germany:

June 18th: Hamburg, Harburg, and Hannover
June 20th: Magdeburg, Hannover, Poelitz
June 21st: Berlin
June 29th: Boehlen, Leipzig
July 7th: Boehlen, Leipzig
July 11th: Munich
July 13th: Munich
July 16th: Munich, Stuttgart
July 19th: Augsburg, Schweinfurt, and other targets in southern Germany
July 20th: Leipzig, Merseburg, Erfurt, Gotha
July 21st: Munich, Duren, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, etc
July 29th: Mersebrug, Bremen
July 31st: Munich, Ludwigshafen
August 4th: Hamburg, Peenemunde, Kiel, Rostock
August 5th: Madgeburg, Brunswick, Hannover
August 6th: Brandenburg, Berlin, Hamburg
August 9th: Ulm, Pirmasens, Saarbrucken and other railyards in southern Germany
August 15th: Airfields inside Germany and Holland
August 16th: Oil and airfields in Germany - Boehlen, Zeitz, Madgeburg
August 24th: Brunswick, Merseburg, Brux, Ruhland
August 25th: Rostock, Politz, Peenemunde
August 26th: Ludwigshafen, Gelsenkirchen
August 27th: Flensburg railyard, Emden, Wilhemshaven, Helgoland

The other days were targeted against "Overlord" targets in game terms. Airfields, V-Weapon sites (Noball) and railyards (mostly in eastern France and Belgium - 9th AF took care of those closer to the front).

It is fully justifiable to use the retargeting work around to hit strategic targets in the game if you want to.

And worthwhile to know your facts before writing.







Thanks for posting this Nicholas. I knew the claim was not correct.

The internet is a great tool!

(in reply to Nicholas Bell)
Post #: 29
RE: Blowing off steam..disgusted with Games AI - 5/17/2010 3:26:36 AM   
Rusty1961

 

Posts: 964
Joined: 2/4/2010
Status: offline
Thank you Navman for that bit of history.

Did your father say what brought his plane down?

(in reply to NAVMAN)
Post #: 30
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