I think that many of those experiencing issues are trying to mount a higher operational tempo than it is feasible in their situation.
This has always been a game which teaches patience.
A lot of strange outcomes simply come from "strange play". Certainly one could close all of these "loopholes", and a huge lot were already closed in the transition from WitP to AE. There are evidently some remaining, but most recurring ones were in my opinion successfully addressed by Dababes mod (SuperEs, AAA etc.). If resources were unlimited, it would be a worthy task to port them over to stock and fix the also other loopholes. But in the end, even if you did that, people would still play the game "unhistorically, irrationally, unprofessional" .-- you name it -- manner. Well, people will always play the way they like it, there is nothing to stop them from it other than learning how to perform operations etc. "the proper way" -- which, given the overall accuracy that this game achieves, is probably close to the "book". But I suppose most of us are just not professional staff officers of any sort.
Even then, this game -- like any -- is missing one key factor, which in my opinion leads to what LoBaron mentioned: high op-tempo. This game has no consequences, and allows to take risks and be bolder than a RL counterpart would be. This is actually one of the benefits why people play games, to change history, and see what risks are "manageable", or how "elegantly" we can beat the opponents. Yet also this high op-tempo leads to similarly "strange" situations, even for the "best" players who otherwise "play by the book" in very reasonable style. In the end, it is "only" a very realistic, detailed game, or simulation, depending on what definition you prefer.
Regarding the ablative armor effect: it usually takes a while to accumulate the airframes, Nates are too short legged later, but enough spare Oscars will only be available by mid/late 43 with no usage other than kamikaze missions. It is a one-shot thing, but sometimes loosing rookie pilots is what you want as IJ players since the pools can be so full with no button to release them, that they are just a drain on HI at the later stages (there are AARs indeed...).
Done with initial key attacks, like on a 4EB base, or an LBA on a amphibious attack and its carrier support, it might give you the lucky hit you need before the following attack from KB. Even small strike packages would be enough? As far as I toyed with it (against AI though), it works well, and since the IJ used kamikaze attacks, why not allow kamikaze escorts? If it is not a (serious enough) bug, it is a feature. If it were a bug, it ought to be addressed, right?
Yet this 200 pass limit for attacking CAP flights, where does it come from, and what exactly is the rationale behind it? On first look it seems arbitrary. Was it just to make air combat tractable? Probably not.
Is it a representation of duration and the spread out character of large scale battles? I will pick Europe for a guesstimate, since I can find info quicker for that theater for large scale situations: a "1000 bomber raid" in Europe would take some ~60-90 minutes over the target, a little more if you consider a larger radius for intial interception or pursuit. The typical time a fighter, say a Bf109, engaged was about some ~30 mins. So it "never" could have made passes at all of the bombers, which came in at ~300 per 30 mins. If this pass limit ought to mimic that, then I suppose the "200" should be the either a maximum or average rate (under adverse weather or coordination issues etc) at which planes pass a CAP sector? If it were, should that be a constant, or depend on weather, plane speed etc?
That brings up a subsequent question: Is the AE air model so detailed that it would be able to mimic European type raids of realistic scale, or would it fail just as AE is not meant to recreate European tank warfare?
A very interesting an productive discussion this really is. Probably no war ever fit a purely attritional scheme, nor was there probably one purely aimed at the enemy ability to wage war or enforce his "plans" by means of military force, though? Sounds like the usual academic question?
< Message edited by janh -- 3/11/2012 1:19:26 PM >