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PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/15/2014 3:39:39 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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Hi,

My opponent and I have come across a game mechanic that we don't really know how to resolve. The situation is this:

I (Allies) have invested an enemy base with a sizable ground force and he is resisting. We are both bombing (or want to bomb) and have air forces capping the base. But this seems to be the problem, I can sweep and clear his CAP while he cannot sweep his own base to remove my CAP and thus his bombers get smashed. We have been exploring a few house rules to try and come up with something workable but not yet.

This problem has to occur in every PBEM so there must be a consensus on it. Please forum, enlighten us. :-)
Post #: 1
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/15/2014 2:33:44 PM   
Yaab


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I don't understand.

You: Sweep base A
Enemy: CAP base A

He removes your Sweep by his CAP. Does he want to bomb your LCUs which are in the hex with base A? Does his bombers fly from base B? If so he escorts his bombers and additionally can put LRCAP over base A from base B.

If he still loses, then your Sweep is simply too strong and you win.

(in reply to BattleMoose)
Post #: 2
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/15/2014 5:45:15 PM   
btd64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yaab

If he still loses, then your Sweep is simply too strong and you win.


Exactly....GP

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(in reply to Yaab)
Post #: 3
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/15/2014 6:42:15 PM   
Lowpe


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The advantage in the air lies with the non-base holder as he can sweep with a squadron; while the defender must CAP with 3 squadrons to be somewhat effective and even more depending upon the sweeper air frames (say Lightnings or Jugs).

Needs a different strategy...it is a tough situation.

On the ground, the base holders get the benefits of civilization however.

(in reply to btd64)
Post #: 4
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/15/2014 7:08:10 PM   
Yaab


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But the defender gets to pick his wounded/bailed-out pilots, whereas the attacker gets MIAs and KIAs.

(in reply to Lowpe)
Post #: 5
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/16/2014 10:09:42 PM   
rustysi


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I'm not 100% sure what you're asking. First you must be using LRCAP, and if I'm correct you are asking if he can sweep his own base? The answer is you can not sweep your own base. WAD.

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(in reply to Yaab)
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RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/17/2014 12:23:33 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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There seems to be some confusion here.

We are both bombing.
We both have CAP or LRCAP.

I have a substantial bonus that I can sweep and he cannot. Really there shouldn't be any reason why you cannot sweep your own base? Or that the opposing CAPS don't interact with each other.

But based on responses, this is all as it should be.

(in reply to rustysi)
Post #: 7
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/17/2014 5:25:32 PM   
Yaab


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I am at a loss.

If your opponent still has the base, then how come you have CAP over it?

(in reply to BattleMoose)
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RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/17/2014 6:30:02 PM   
Malagant

 

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If I'm understanding this correctly:

BM has LRCAP over enemy base.

Enemy has CAP over enemy base.

They fly around and wave at each other.

The enemy has no way to clear BM's LRCAP because he can not Sweep.

Whereas BM can Sweep and clear the enemy CAP.



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(in reply to Yaab)
Post #: 9
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/17/2014 11:26:25 PM   
BattleMoose

 

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Malagant has it correct.

(in reply to Malagant)
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RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 5:59:04 AM   
Yaab


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It is a problem when enemy is down to only one base. If he has two bases he can fly LRCAP over base A from base B.

(in reply to BattleMoose)
Post #: 11
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 6:31:20 AM   
Endy

 

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Yaab, the problem is, the opponent can't sweep over his own base. Which means, if he sends in bombers, they will ALWAYS meet BM's LRCAP planes, because there is absolutely no way for him to clear the way with sweeps first.

So basically, BM has a way to remove enemy planes before his bombers go in - and that is with sweeps, but the enemy cannot do the same and his bombers will always meet BM's plane in the air because there is no way to get rid of them - sweep is not allowed over own base and you know what happens to escorts against even LRCAP.

(in reply to Yaab)
Post #: 12
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 4:16:43 PM   
Alfred

 

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Has the Japanese player (that would be Endy) not noticed the "escort" mission.  That mission exists precisely to cover situations such as this.  Oh I know that many players think it is quite trendy to not send fighters with their bombers but as always happens when players believe the game should follow their assumptions, they invariably get their heads handed to them on a plate.

Even though no factual data has been provided, even with the bald assertions which have been made the following is obvious.

1.  The Allied player is employing sweeps.  He claims that they are clearing the enemy fighters.  Well this can only be the case if the Japanese player is handling his side very badly for sweeps do not "clear" enemy fighters.  I will repeat it, sweeps do not "clear" enemy fighters.

2.  A sweep is an offensive mission.  Other offensive missions are airfield/port/ground/city/naval attack, and recon.  In short any bombing, strafing or point reconnaissance.

3.  Local CAP will attempt to engage ALL offensive missions, be they a sweep or one of the other offensive missions.  As air operations are conducted as separate raids, during the course of a day, the local CAP, subject to altitudes and climbing rates, will engage several times the enemy raids.

4.  CAP is usually at its strongest when it engages the first enemy offensive mission of the day.  CAP degrades during the course of the day as casualties mount.   this happens irrespective of the type of offensive mission it has flown against.

5.  It is almost impossible for the first offensive mission of the day to completely destroy/damage every single defensive fighter tasked with CAP duties.  In other words, IF, and this is a big IF, the very first offensive mission happens to be a sweep, there will still be fighters available to meet the second ... third ... fourth ... etc offensive missions later that day.

6.  Why might a player claim erroneously that his sweeps are "clearing" all the enemy CAP.  Well if say 8 American fighter squadrons (equating to 200 fighters) are sent to sweep against a single Japanese unit of say 27 fighters on CAP, by sheer force of numbers after 8 raids, the CAP may have been fully degraded that none exists to meet the Allied bombers subsequently.   But there is no guarantee that the sweeps will fly before the other offensive missions. In any case this hypothetical situations represents very poor play by the Japanese player for these reasons:

(a) why is he bothering to defend with so few aircraft?  Local air superiority rests firmly with the Allies and to expect to get a good aerial result is blind optimism.
(b) why is layered CAP not being employed against the sweeps?  Again if the additional resources are not available to be deployed to achieve a layered CAP, why is the Japanese player even bothering to contest the local air space which is owned by the Allies.
(c) why isn't Japan also using LRCAP to augment the local CAP and to strike at the unescorted Allied bombers?  Again if Japanese fighters or close airfields are lacking, air superiority has already been ceded and it is beyond comprehension to expect to duplicate what the Allied player is doing.

7.  Why are Japanese bombers being sent in without escorts.  If no escorts are available, again we have a situation where local air superiority rests with the Allies.  In real life bombers did not get through if the enemy had air superiority, which is why fighters were tasked to escort their bombers.  The escorts are there to take on the CAP, or in this situation, the Allied LRCAP set over the Japanese base.  To continue to send in unescorted bombers and then complain they are being shot out of the air, is just dumb play; trendy but still dumb.

8.  What about the creative solutions to the problem.  For example, Allied planes tasked to LRCAP over the Japanese base, are not available to CAP their own Allied airfields.  Allied planes tasked to sweep the Japanese base are also not available to CAP their own Allied airfields.  So what is stopping Japan from sending bombers to strike at the Allied airfields.  Bomb them and not only can you destroy Allied airframes on the ground, if the Japanese raids are heavy enough they will make it impossible for the surviving Allied airplanes to even take off.  If the Allied airfields are on the coast, they can also be targeted by naval bombardment TFs.  Bomb at night if necessary.  But if the Allied air force is too strong over its own airfields, again we have Allied air superiority and there are no grounds for Japan to expect a good outcome.


Poor play is to continue to dance to the opponents tune.  Change the tune and if that is not possible, refuse to dance.

I repeat, deploy escorts with the bombers.  The escorts will tackle the Allied LRCAP.  LRCAP is not free, there is a malus which attaches to LRCAP and it is one which the escorting fighters can expose.

Unlike the real world where grey areas exist, coding a game is rather black and white.  Unlike the other offensive missions, sweep seeks out enemy fighters on CAP which by the way is not a mission but a defensive setting.  Sweeps do not seek out enemy fighters training over their own airfields. It is therefore very logical, where black and white rules, to not be able to sweep ones own base because enemy fighters are not there on CAP as that is not a mission.

Did I mention to use the escort mission?

Alfred

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 13
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 6:49:36 PM   
Endy

 

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Alfred, you are of course correct in some of the cases. The air superiority of course lies in Allied hands here as, I think not mentioned before, the base has been destroyed and kept that way by constant bombing. So only LRCAP is a solution. And in this case sweeps do clear even a pretty large LRCAP as there A LOT of planes sweeping. So yes, it's quite possible to clear enemy resistance provided enough planes are used for sweeping, around 200 hundred will easily clear or wear down an LRCAP of twice or more fewer planes. If not one in turn, then two turns is pretty much enough to do it, provided you employ a large enough force to do it in comparison to your opponent and that's exactly the case. Not to mention, sweeping usually costs the defender much heavier losses than the attacker because of how engine and altitude advantage works.

The problem with your suggested escort solution is of course that escorts get hit badly, very badly, making any bombing runs not really worth it. So nope, escorts don't really tackle the enemy cap. Sure, the bombers may get through but at what cost? Please, you know well that escort missions are not a good solution against even a mediocre LRCAP and just lead to heavy losses among escorting planes. While this is usually acceptable in naval strikes (esp. if the target is juicy and you just need to get through once), you just can't sustain this turn after turn, after turn of land bombing. Your losses will be expotentially higher than these of your opponent making it not worth it.

Anyway, sure, the Allied player earned superiority by destroying the airbase and keeping it this way, but in this case, why would the Japanese player be unable to sweep over it? Yes, I know it's coded this way, but it's one of those things that could use some tweaking I guess (same as nighttime 4e bomber gunner efficiency) though I know this won't likely happen in this iteration. And of course, creative solutions are available, same as sweeping one hex from the base to draw the LRCAP out but it's still not the same and the Allied player is enjoying quite an advantage over the Japanes base because the Japa player just can't use the same means to deal with enemy planes, making bombing very costly if not impossible.

I'm not really expecting that this will change and of course most players are used to dealing with it one way or another, it just strikes me as not entirely reasonable in this case that one player can enjoy an advantage just because of how air missions work. And yes, there are ways to go around it or play the "you hit me and I hit you somewhere else" and playing cat and mouse around the map but it's not really the same.

By the way, you are right that sweeps seek enemy CAP over an enemy base, I know how this works in the game. But why would my LRCAP not engage his LRCAP? Do the pilots from both sides patrol the same area and just wave to each other? :) If you think about it, there are many instances, both real world and gaming, that your cap/lrcap is set over your own bases and engages any enemy that gets close. And in Witp they only engage enemy sweeps, seemingly ignoring enemy planes that are on LRCAP over the same area. That's the problem. And yes, again, I know there are ways to avoid it, not play the enemy's game etc., it's just somehow..weird that you have to do that and cannot enjoy parity in the air mission mechanics at least.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 14
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 6:58:27 PM   
witpqs


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Endy,

It's really not about if we were all designing from scratch whether or not we would allow sweeps over own bases to clear out enemy LRCAP.

It's about that this particular facet of this game is extremely unlikely to change - we've discussed it in these forums with the developers pretty extensively in the past - so how do we work with it? Think of it like 'pawns can't move backwards or sideways, dang it!, But that's how it is.'

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Post #: 15
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 7:05:44 PM   
Endy

 

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Hehe, I know it's about looking for workarounds more that really looking for any kind of change, but one can vent and complain from time to time no? Just shows you are passionate about something if you care enough to do it :)

(in reply to witpqs)
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RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 9:34:42 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Endy

Hehe, I know it's about looking for workarounds more that really looking for any kind of change, but one can vent and complain from time to time no? Just shows you are passionate about something if you care enough to do it :)


Unfortunately, venting and complaining is NOT well received here.

And thanks Alfred for confirming my suspicions that CAP and LRCAP would be tangling with each other over the hex (that is if the base owning player was capable of putting CAP over the hex).

I wanted to point that out but decided to wait for a more informed voice.

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(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 17
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/18/2014 10:36:45 PM   
Endy

 

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I might have used the wrong words perhaps. The thing is, if you don't talk about stuff you don't like, it will likely not change in the next game (if there's ever gonna be one). Even if it doesn't come then why wouldn't you talk aabout it? I mean, sure, the game is as it is but surely that's not a proper reason to not notice stuff like that? Of course, you gotta play with what you have but that doesn't mean all is perfect.

And by the way, I think you guys are concentrating on entirely the wrong things. Alfred did not say LRCAP and CAP, or LRCAP vs LRCAP fight each other, because they don't. If that was the case there would be no problem, but as it is now, there is just absolutely no way to get rid of enemy LRCAP over your own base.

If you want to bombard enemy troops in your own base hex, then you're basically screwed because, at least with current mechanics, you lose a ton of escort fighters which can't really be sustained. We all know escorts get butchered even by numerically lesser LRCAP so escort mission is not a solution. And you can't get rid of enemy CAP over your own base, because the only effective means - sweep mission - is denied to you. So exactly this thing, enemy LRCAP is perfectly safe over your base, untouchable, and they'll be there to butcher your escorts and/or bombers, this thing seems kinda wrong. There, I hope this is more clear what this is all about and not lost in details :)

< Message edited by Endy -- 12/18/2014 11:38:53 PM >

(in reply to HansBolter)
Post #: 18
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/19/2014 1:12:33 AM   
BattleMoose

 

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Both of us have been using sweeps to clear CAP before the bombers go in unescorted. And for the most part this has proven to be very effective. So really we have been very dependent on sweeps and there being a hex where only one player can sweep and the other not is an obvious advantage and not a reasonable one in my opinion. I was hoping there would be a reasonable work around but there just doesn't seem to be one.

If we want to bomb our own hexes, I guess we are just going to have to use the escort mission. :-/

(in reply to Endy)
Post #: 19
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/19/2014 5:29:02 PM   
Yaab


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Bear in mind, that the Japanese enemy is inferior to Allies in radar performance. This hurts the effectiveness of the Japanese CAP.

(in reply to BattleMoose)
Post #: 20
RE: PBEM LRCAP/CAP Issue - 12/19/2014 7:45:48 PM   
tiemanjw

 

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Endy, in my pbem game, I had a similar situition over Prome. I owned the base, but he had sizable ground forces that I wanted to bomb the crap out of. A few things that worked for me:
1) use LRCAP (or CAP if you get the AF operational) at high altitude. I managed to get good kill ratios (with P40s no less) by putting a LOT of LRCAP/CAP at altitude. When my bombers came, his LRCAP got beat badly on several occasions. Don't be afraid of 100% CAP (or even LRCAP) for a short time. Especially if the range is low.

2) those sweepers are flying from somewhere. Bomb his base (sweep too if necessary). His AC can only sweep or LRCAP or CAP the base he is flying from. In addition to all the nasty Alfred describes, if his sweepers or LRCAP fly home to a bombed out AF, the ops losses will be very high (though largely unreported).

(in reply to BattleMoose)
Post #: 21
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