From: Bristol, UK
I think this test needs to be split in to 2. The test (as currently done) mixes game mechanics testing (effect of escorts, and altitude) with AI responses (first turn no defensive fighters). The best way to do that is simply play as both sides, but give the Germans a script. For example have a turn 0 (pre-test where you shift fighters according to certain rules), then save it, and use that as a basis or all the 'turn 1' alternatives. The Germans can be left to intercept with what you have given them, or (as a later add on test) you can experiment with defensive ADs to explore player options (and see what the AI could do). This will clear up the mechanics test.
On the general results of Day vs Night, I think the game needs to be very careful. In the absence of separate day and night experience for bombers we run the risk of night just being a dark day! This isn't a silly comment; lets compare 8th AF and BC (i.e. strategic bombing day and night). Shall we assume early factors are not relevant (i.e. USAAF CONUS training all in weather a lot better than average Europe, and BC settled on flying Pathfinder lead streams, with rates of bombers through the target in the later war several per minute league)? 8AF flies close formation, in complex boxes, and each squadron (or Group, not sure which) bombs from the lead bomber who works on visual contact (usually). Thus each group will tend to drop a concentrated pattern, but groups may scatter one to the next. Results should be a bit lumpy - they can miss completely, but if they hit, will tend to hit well (on point targets... Manpower I see is different). BC all bomb individually, on markers which may be ground, or air. Ground markers will be accurate as a pathfinder will correct them until they are good (broadly at least, and especially after the introduction of the Master Bomber). Neither force could have swapped tactics without a great deal of training. Thus, BC in the daylight should not be able to be a clone of 8AF, and not just for the obvious reasons (defensive fire power). When they did fly by day, they flew a pseudo stream (gaggle if you like) and only survived without huge losses because the LW was basically held off by casualties or the huge escort force. The bombers bombed on markers (albeit adapted for daylight IIRC). Thus, BC in daylight should be able to give about the same result as their best result at night (clear skies, concentrated raid). They should not be able to be as good on point targets (factories etc) as 8AFas often... there should be a much smoother spread of results, with fewer really big successes but doing some damage more often.
8AF (just to complete the story, and no disrespect intended to their brave a/c) would be completely unable to get any results at night... They can't fly close formation, and each a/c needs to aim own bombs. Individual navigation is far more important. Thus they should be in the early Bomber Command league - most bombs don't get within 5 MILES of the target. Training to address these issues might have been theoretically possible, but should take a unit out for weeks if not months.
I feel very strongly that we need a game where the real limitations of the forces involved are reflected. If BC routinely gets used as the 8th AF Mark2, that will mean the game is irrevocably flawed in my book. Unless Bombers get separate Day and Night experience, I think we need something that reflects the real world. This is not 'attempting to just simulate history'. Rather it is attempting to have a game about WW2 rather than Killer Zombies of Mars.
One solution that doesn't need the tracking of day and night experience is to allocate strategic commands as Day or Night... units under their command get a hit to effectiveness if out of kilter with their command philosophy. You would have to ban switching BC and USAAF strategic bombers. The Tactical commands (if used at night) should all stink, so I don't think there is an issue there. The command limitation would also reflect the huge support and infrastructure the 4 engined heavies need and so provide a limitation on their use being too flexible as well... It could also be done by nationality... US and CW
I have seen how WITE is gamed to death and we need to try and anticipate...
< Message edited by HMSWarspite -- 2/1/2015 10:47:24 AM >
I have a cunning plan, My Lord