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Fischia il Vento - loki100 vs smokindave34 ... German marginal victory T94

 
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Fischia il Vento - loki100 vs smokindave34 ... German m... - 2/8/2015 4:51:48 PM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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So another WiTW AAR.

Our logic to presenting this is to provide more information, and show a game in which Pelton is not playing the Germans . I'll keep my vs AI AAR going as that is both allowing me to test out strategies and may help point up the differences of playing the AI vs PBEM.

We've both a fair bit of experience with WiTE, so that may be handy if we reach the stage of large scale land operations, but I'm not convinced it really helps with the early game stages, planning invasions or the air war.

As ever, turn 1 is slow. Especially in the UK I spent ages moving air units around and reconstructing the air forces to fit my needs. This carried on for a few turns, before I was reasonably content. The advantage of course is that once this is done, it is relatively quick in later turns. Being able to do 2 PBEM turns in a day is a bit of a shock after WiTE.

This will proceed a fair way behind the actual game.

Should add, I'm playing the Allies.

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[1] – the title is from an Italian song adopted by the partisan movement. Translate as the 'wind is blowing'. In turn the tune was taken from the Russian folk song that was popular during the Great Patriotic War 'Katyusha'. In Russian, Katyusha is the diminutive/affectionate form of the girls name Katya. Soviet troops nicknamed the rocket launchers katyusha as they were marked only with a 'k' and not given a formal name (to preserve secrecy)

< Message edited by loki100 -- 8/11/2015 8:50:25 PM >


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Table of Contents - 2/8/2015 4:52:10 PM   
loki100


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T1: Disaster at Danzig, swanning over Sicily
T2: Splitting up Sicily, missing Bremen
T3: Clearing Sicily, regretting Hamburg
T4: Advancing in Sicily, better results over Germany
T5: Sicily is mine (almost), strategic airwar is going well
T6: Success in the Air, having a rest in Italy
T7: 8 Airforce has a very bad week
T8: 8 Airforce has the week off, start hunting the Luftwaffe in Italy
T9: 8 Airforce is battered again, do some damage to the Luftwaffe in Italy
T10: At least I finally invade Italy
T11: Italy surrenders, I take Corsica and Sardinia
T12: The Luftwaffe's winter sun holiday is disturbed
T13: The Luftwaffe's holidays are shortened, fighting in Calabria
T14: Hit Hamburg, small gains in Italy, disturb the Luftwaffe
T15: Flattening the Luftwaffe, American tanks go for a drive
T16: Hunting U-Boats, Bomber Command fails at Hangover, squashing the Luftwaffe
T17: Stalemate in Calabria
T18: Bomber Command goes to war with the Cod, I abandon Salerno
T19-T20: Cruising the Med, hunting the Luftwaffe
T21: Bombing Germany
T22: Bombing Germany (in a different way)
T23-T24: 8 Air is hammered over the Ruhr
T25-T26: Berlin has a bad Christmas, Munich gets a New Year hangover
T27-T28: Squashing the V-weapons
T29-T30: Trying to find Germany in a blizzard (and at night), major German offensive in Italy
T31-T32: Battle of the Ruhr
T33-T34: A duvet week followed by a Baltic vacation
T35-T37: More Baltic holidays and a disaster in the Ruhr
T38-T40: The French stop the Swiss invaders, other than that a lot of bombs fall on Germany
T41-T43: Renewal of the war in Italy, lots of bombs dropped on France, the Luftwaffe starts to weaken
T44-T45: On my way to France
T46: France invaded
T47: Breakout towards Cherbourg
T48: Battle for Caen continues, more gains towards Cherbourg
T49: Caen is liberated, Vire almost taken
T50: Vire is captured
T51: British 2 Army forces the Orne, the 'armoured mouse' makes an appearance
T52: US 1 Army takes Mortain, the armoured mouse moves slowly, breakout in Southern Italy
T53: First sighting of the 'death star', Cherbourg falls, US 1 Army breaks out of Normandy
T54: Breakout in France, disaster at Naples
T55: Destroying trapped German units in France
T56: Approaching Paris
T57: The French are beaten up, I clear the west bank of the Seine
T58: Fall of Lorient, offensive towards Auxerre
T59: Liberation of Auxerre, trashing of Berlin
T60: Bombing the Ruhr, Brest is captured and the French reach out to the Swiss .. and an offensive at Naples
T61: Liberate Naples, auditions at Cannes
T62: The death star visits St Nazaire, no Germans in the south of France?
T63: Gains south of Paris,advances in Provence
T64: Toulon is liberated, 2 British cross the Seine and the Germans are completely unsporting
T65: Battles rage south of Paris, first sighting of the Meteor
T66: Liberation of Marseilles, fighting south of Paris
T67: More fighting south of Paris
T68: Breakthough south of Paris
T69: Sipping Absinthe in Paris
T70-71: Liberation of Le Havre and Dieppe, 8 Air battered over the Ruhr
T72: Marching East
T73: Liberation of Boulogne, failure at Belfort, planning for the next offensive
T74: Slaughter at Nivelle
T75: Namur offensive
T76: Namur offensive, liberation of Belfort
T77: Liberation of Namur, attacks to outflank the Brussels-Antwerp defensive line, gains around Liege
T78: Hallo 1945, Brussels and Liege surrounded, snowstorms stop play
T79: Brussels and Liege liberated, Antwerp surrounded
T80: Antwerp is liberated
T81: Aachen campaign
T82: Aachen captured, setting up the Danish disaster
T83: the Danish disaster, liberate Maastricht, reaching the Rhine
T84: Liberation of Eindhoven, crossing the Rhine, capturing Bonn
T85: Small gains over the Rhine, running out of planes
T86: Second bridgehead over the Rhine
T87: Encirclement of Cologne, gains near Wiesbaden, liberation of Rotterdam
T88: Fighting at Cologne and Wiesbaden, liberation of Haarlem
T89: Fall of Cologne (or the 'eau de Cologne'?)
T90-91: Mud
T92: More unsporting actions by the Germans, capture Dusseldorf, break out around Stuttgart
T93: Breakout at Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Soviets near Berlin
T94: Fall of Berlin, German minor victory

< Message edited by loki100 -- 8/11/2015 8:45:14 PM >


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T1 - 2/8/2015 4:54:12 PM   
loki100


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Logic to air organisation.

One thing I tried to do was to allocate air types so that I potentially optimised the number of AD I could set and that it simply made sense. So for example, recon planes that can only use low level cameras I moved out of the strat airforces.

By the time I'd finished, I had the following rough outline:

Fighter Command – convert a number of squadrons to bombers, put all low level recon (Mustang 1) planes here, keep about 5 squadrons of NF

Bomber Command – 12 squadrons of NF (all the Beaufighters, plus Mosquitos), 4 recon, all the LB (apart from the Mitchells and Bostons that start in Tac Air). Operationally split into 3 groups, a Lancaster heavy force to bomb Germany (with attached recon wing), a Lancaster light force to bomb Germany (again with attached recon). The Lancasters have incendiaries, the others some sort of conventional bomb. Halifaxes plus others will bomb infrastructure in France (start at night, shift over to day if it is safe).

Coastal Command – allow it to conserve planes so not set any AD for now. Routine patrols will do,

Tac Air – convert almost all the FB-F to FB-B. For now keep most of the Typhoons rested (avoid losses and replacements will be used in the Med).

8 Airforce – 12 squadrons of B-17s; 7 of B-24/25, 5 recon and 4 escorts. The later I'll convert to longer range planes asap. Idea here is that the B-17s are used in two groups for bombing in Germany, the B-24/5 will either help with this or bomb railyards and ports.

9 Airforce – 1 squadron fighters, 2 of recon (low level from 8 Air).

In the Med, at the start keep the OOB as it is. I'll re-arrange over time. Goal again is to make the best use of the AD capacity so a lot of recon planes will end up in the Malta command.

Plans.

Playing the AI, I've gambled with a minimal invasion of Sicily. Here I'm taking no chances so its almost 100% of Husky.

On turn 1 the air war is purely aimed at Sicily. Elements of Strat Air are given tactical jobs, especially to bomb airfields. Others will hit ports on the island. Tac Air is deployed to protect the landings and Coastal Air to protect the invasion flotilla.



In northern Europe, I decide to gamble on a single massive set of raids by 8 Airforce at Danzig. My logic to this is that I'll want to hit it at some stage, this turn I'm redeploying my short range fighters in any case (and next I'll start converting).



The lighter bomber group, with some escorts, goes for Emden and another group will hit Lille.



Bomber Command is going to try night raids on Berlin, Bremen and the Ruhr. In France, Cherbourg is the chosen target.



Outcomes

Heavy air losses with 651 shot down and 933 damaged but the axis suffered too with 255 lost.

The Fighter Command sweeps triggered quite a lot battles and losses were pretty much equal.



Bomber Command had light losses but was pretty ineffective. Following this I've decided to avoid flak heavy targets for a while and go for smaller cities – there are a lot of these and some have 8-10 manpower.



8 Air took eye watering losses with 111 lost over Danzig but left the U-Boat factories in ruins.



In Sicily, the attacks worked well, doing useful damage for few losses, but then avoided places like Messina and Reggio Calabria.



Apart from 8 Air, I was pleased enough about that. Even managed to inflict losses on the Bf-109G and FW-190 (playing the Soviets in WiTE I have come to really dislike both these fighter types).



Relatively high Typhoon losses added to my view that its a waste to use them in France at this stage of the war.

Anyway, final stage is to set up the invasion. I'd cancelled the British paradrop and one British landing, otherwise this is in full force.



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RE: T1 - 2/8/2015 5:57:43 PM   
JocMeister

 

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Good luck! I´ll read for sure.

What version are you playing? In the BETA the B17G will be available 2 months earlier which means you don´t have to be as careful with them. P38s and P51 will be a bottleneck though.

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RE: T1 - 2/9/2015 7:19:08 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister

Good luck! I´ll read for sure.

What version are you playing? In the BETA the B17G will be available 2 months earlier which means you don´t have to be as careful with them. P38s and P51 will be a bottleneck though.


latest beta version.

I'm going to be cautious about flipping fighter groups, may try to keep the long range fighters just to 4-5 (at least till the later reinforcements arrive). Agree about the B-17s, makes an early game rush a bit more feasible, but it does help to leave a decent pool of B-17F as you may need to re-equip B-17G in case your losses mount.

Already learning the hard way the difference between the AI and a human opponent.

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Turn 2: 10-16 July 1943 - 2/11/2015 2:58:45 PM   
loki100


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Turn 2: 10-16 July 1943

When I got the turn back I had some relief that the Axis hadn't decided to challenge my landings. All units safely ashore and very little interdiction.



So in Northern Europe bombing pattern was pretty conventional. 8 Air had suffered for the Danzig raid but had enough planes for 2 well supported raids on Kiel and Emden. Bomber Command goes for Bremen and Kleve. I'm still convinced that you can gain experience and results by going for the mid-sized towns with low flak concentrations.



In France, I've decided on a low key approach for now. Really I'm going for infrastructure (ports and railyards) and the Luftwaffe (using AS boxes over suspected concentrations). I'm coming to the view that just interdicting movement or supply at this stage is a bit of waste of planes and pilots.

In the Med, almost all missions are in support of the Sicilian campaign. Trying to interdict movement and bomb out supply sources so as to speed any conquest of the island. The only exception was to start bombing the rail and port infrastructure around Naples.

Losses were heavy (537) including 112 from 8 Air, 100 from Strategic Air (mostly a pretty disastrous attack on Taranto) and 80 from Tactical Air (especially for the interdiction missions around Messina). To make this worse, the great bulk of the 169 planes I shot down were Italian as its clear the Germans are letting their allies do the bulk of the fighting.



In terms of results, Bomber Command seemed to miss Bremen entirely but did do a lot of damage at Kleve (where I also did a lot of damage to the German night fightes). 8 Air pretty much flattened the U-boat factories at Kiel and Emden. So although it has suffered badly for the first two weeks, that is three groups of factories already knocked down. Also using the B-17F is efficient as they will be replaced by the G pretty soon.

The headline air losses don't look too bad, until I worked out that around 360 out of the 765 axis losses were Italian planes.



The VP score is pretty much as expected. I am +2 in terms of the air war and I'll take that ratio if I can sustain it for the opening phase.

At the end of the turn, I've pushed off the beaches and brought in most of my planned reinforcements. I've also only left 2 transport groups to assist further naval movement and most are back in N Africa preparing for the next round of operations.



My feeling is my opponent has taken advantage of my relatively strong commitment to Sicily to pull all the powerful German units away. If so, I'll use the force ratio to clear the island more quickly and see if I can build some morale by involving as many units as possible in easy victories.

So far, fairly conventional, feels a bit like shadow boxing. Of course the bad news is all those powerful German units will be on the mainland, where I'll struggle to have much of an impact.

The good thing is I should be able to take Sicily quickly and in turn to build up my airpower to support the next phase of the war.


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RE: Turn 2: 10-16 July 1943 - 2/11/2015 3:33:36 PM   
Q-Ball


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Nice AAR! He isn't contesting the Sicily landings, because he is keeping his powder dry for a follow-on landing. Expect the full Luftwaffe treatment; I am playing smokindave, and he consistently runs 99 Nav Interdiction over my beachheads, despite me putting up nearly 3000 planes on Naval Missions and shooting down upwards of 600-900 German planes a turn. It's Oct 1943.

I'm surprised no Italian air though, you may as well use them if you are Germany.....

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RE: Turn 2: 10-16 July 1943 - 2/13/2015 11:50:49 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Nice AAR! He isn't contesting the Sicily landings, because he is keeping his powder dry for a follow-on landing. Expect the full Luftwaffe treatment; I am playing smokindave, and he consistently runs 99 Nav Interdiction over my beachheads, despite me putting up nearly 3000 planes on Naval Missions and shooting down upwards of 600-900 German planes a turn. It's Oct 1943.

I'm surprised no Italian air though, you may as well use them if you are Germany.....


I've just had a turn where I think I've found the luftwaffe en masse waiting for me. He seemed to be content to burn off the Italian airforce, most of his losses are those rather than German. Makes sense, a bit like using up the bi-planes etc that the Soviet start with in WiTE, any damage you do is an overall gain.

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Turn 3: 24 – 30 July 1943 - 2/13/2015 11:53:46 AM   
loki100


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Turn 3: 24 – 30 July 1943

VP situation is unremarkable. I'm a net +1 on the bombing war (+3 for bombing, -2 for U-boats).

In the Med decided again to concentrate my air operations on Sicily. Protect my landings, start trying to isolate Palermo and see if I can damage retreating axis units at Messina. Some strategic bombing of ports and railyards on the mainland.

In northern Europe, 8 Air is still hitting N Germany, primarily U-Boats. Bomber Command looking for softer targets (cities with relatively high manpower and low flak). Priority for 8 Air is U-boat/HI and for Bomber Command manpower/railyards.

Steadily taking out the French railnet and ensuring the Channel ports are damaged. Not really doing much regular interdiction beyond that - even with just attrition losses I don't see the gain and this makes it easier to channel replacements to squadrons in the Med.



Result was still very high losses with 424 planes lost.

Bomber Command had one of its better weeks over Bonn and Trier.



8 Air took heavy losses at Hamburg for little reward.



In Sicily tactical air took heavy losses around Messina, mostly from flak, but hopefully have weakened any attempt to hold Messina.

On land, 8 Army makes steady progress towards Messina and 5 Army towards Palermo. I'm making use of the relatively weak defence to ensure that as many units as possible can attack, thus gaining morale and experience. They'll have time to burn off fatigue as my current plan is to land on the Italian mainland in late August.



Air pools are mostly ok. The main worry is the gap in my P-38s, so I'll stop converting shorter range aircraft for the moment. Have a decent escort capacity for 8 Air and Strategic Air for the moment in any case.



So far, I think so standard. Its clear that Smokindave is not going to contest Sicily so I may as well turn the one-sided battles to my advantage. That of course makes the Italian mainland all the more terrifying.

I also decided that it was time to stop chucking 8 Air against the fighter defences around Hamburg-Bremen. Have damaged quite a lot of U-boat production, so I'll go looking for easier targets.

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RE: Turn 3: 24 – 30 July 1943 - 2/13/2015 8:04:24 PM   
Q-Ball


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Nice AAR! It looks like you pulled back your amphibs from Sicily, I suppose we'll find out soon where they are going.

What do you hope to accomplish bombing France right now? I feel like most Rail/Port damage will be repaired by the time it matters in 1944. He isn't likely to contest either, so you wont' really shoot down LW planes.

I would consider transferring alot of planes to the Med, like the USAAF 2E Bombers, Typhoons, and some fighters. I am playing Smokingdave, you will need every plane you have on Naval Interdiction when you land in Italy, trust me......

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RE: Turn 3: 24 – 30 July 1943 - 2/13/2015 10:27:56 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Nice AAR! It looks like you pulled back your amphibs from Sicily, I suppose we'll find out soon where they are going.

What do you hope to accomplish bombing France right now? I feel like most Rail/Port damage will be repaired by the time it matters in 1944. He isn't likely to contest either, so you wont' really shoot down LW planes.

I would consider transferring alot of planes to the Med, like the USAAF 2E Bombers, Typhoons, and some fighters. I am playing Smokingdave, you will need every plane you have on Naval Interdiction when you land in Italy, trust me......


My logic, and could be wrong, is to use the level bombers in France. Agree he can repair those railyards etc but it all degrades his overall rail cap in any case. I'll be shifting a lot of ground attack and naval planes to the Med once I have Sicily locked down. Thats the only flaw in giving the Allies Sicily for free, you can fill it out with well supplied airbases by mid-August.

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Turn 4: 31 July – 6 August 1943 - 2/14/2015 5:52:19 PM   
loki100


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Turn 4: 31 July – 6 August 1943

At this stage I'm still trying to clear Sicily as quickly as I can. My only fear was a strong garrison at Messina so commit quite a lot of air power to bombing out the ports and interdiction (which is fairly costly). Other missions are designed to isolate Palermo, continue to bomb rail and ports around Naples and protect my landings on the south of the island.



In Northern Europe, decide to give the U-Boats a miss this turn and set up raids designed to inflict losses of HI, manpower and rail capacity. Bombing in France, Belgium and the Netherlands is all about taking out rail yards and ports.



The result was my lowest rate of air losses so far, just 272. This was essential as I've managed to run down a lot of key aircraft pools.



Have marked off those I am worried about. The B17 losses have been offset by the earlier arrival of the B17G but I can't carry on with the recent rate of attrition

Bomber Command had a good night out over Cologne but managed to miss every target in Koblenz. The other advantage of both these raids were the relatively high axis fighter losses (31 combined), probably as I sent in very strong escorts.

This trick I've used in WiTE in the past, in effect over-escort so it becomes as much an air superiority mission as anything else. You are more or less using your bombers as bait.



8 Air worked off its frustrations on Schweinfurt, leaving substantial damage to the local industry.

Again, the heavily escorted mission led to relatively heavy German fighter losses.

By the end of my ground moves, I'd reached Messina and Palermo. Neither are stronglyheld, so should fall next turn.



Due to intensive recon, I've a good idea where the axis forces are on the mainland.


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[b]Turn 5: 7-13 August 1943[/b] - 2/17/2015 10:40:22 AM   
loki100


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Turn 5: 7-13 August 1943

VP situation is no surprise, this turn the combined bombing score was 0 reflecting the lack of attention to the U-boats last turn.



I've started doing a check of my production pools as part of my usual start of turn routines. Best to include current production and obsolete aircraft. Not only does it help show up air types with an emerging problem (final column) but it also indicates types out of production and out of pool. Best to swap these manually, even if to another obsolete type that at least has air frames available.



Nothing at this stage to worry over but later on in 1943 keep an eye on some of your naval planes in particular.

For northern Europe I decide to try the U-boats again. This time I'll use Bomber Command and spend an age swapping bomb loads from incendiaries to HE for their new job.

Otherwise, keep 8 Air in S Germany and go for rail yards and ports in France.



In the Med, shift focus.

I'm starting to bomb out the Sardinian ports and run an intensive recon campaign to check the strength of the defences. On Sicily, main focus is isolate and clear Palermo. On the mainland, interdicting supplies down to Reggio Calabria, bomb rail net and start a lot of recon designed to find the Luftwaffe.



Overall, losses were 317 which reflects my decision to avoid contested areas. US 8 Air took some losses over Stuttgart (but also shot down a lot of German fighters), Bomber Command did a lot of manpower damage at Limburg and a decent job on the U-Boats



Not sure if the relative success at Luebeck was because a night raid was unexpected or if the fighters have been allocated to defend other targets.

On Sardinia, no evidence of a build up, and it may be that some German units have been withdrawn.



On Sicily, a series of quick victories cleared Messina, Palermo and Trapani. Whats left will be cleared next turn. Already started a massive air build up on the island, including a lot of FB (especially Typhoons) redeployed from the UK.



My suspicion is that any landing on Italy will be fiercely contested and my intention is now spend a number of turns hunting and degrading the Luftwaffe. I also want to be able to protect my landings as best as possible.

As in a few posts back, once I realised that SmokinDave was not really going to contest Sicily, I opted to maximise the number of units in each attack. My goal was to improve experience and morale. Particularly useful with the US units before they have to engage in serious combat. Here's the resulting morale etc for the units most involved. I'm not worried about the fatigue as they will have time to recover before the next phase of active fighting.



At this stage I'd trade a bit of fatigue and maybe some lost VP for losses to improve the overall competence of the army for later. Both morale and experience really matter in terms of combat efficiency.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/17/2015 11:41:56 AM >


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Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943 - 2/21/2015 2:49:08 PM   
loki100


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Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943

With Sicily secured, I've decided to shift a lot of 2nd Tactical Air to the Med, as well as elements of UK Coastal Command. I'm of the view that at this stage there is little sense to interdiction style operations in France (as opposed to actually bombing out the physical transport infrastructure) and this will give me a lot more airpower than just relying on the at start division of assets.



In Northern Europe, my usual pattern of air-raids. Concentrating 8 Air and Bomber Command on a few targets each. If I catch the Luftwaffe unready, this gives me a chance to perhaps overwhelm them, and it does mean the focus of my attack can shift from turn to turn.



In the Med, I'm doing nothing but recon to find Axis troop and air deployments and some attacks on ports and rail yards. I'll let the rest have a turn off after the commitment of the Sicilian campaign.



Outcome was very light losses, only 197 shot down and some successes. Fighter Command forced a number of air battles over the Netherlands and did decent damage (shot down 10 German fighters for 47 of mine). Bomber Command did a lot of damage at Muenster and on the U-Boats at Bremerhaven while 8 Air hit the industry at Mannheim.



Intensive Recon in Italy indicated that the main likely landing sites were well covered and no scope to force the straights of Messina. Not a surprise but from next turn I'll start pre-invasion interdiction. I'll have enough airpower to cover both around Lauria and Salerno so smokindave is not sure which I favour (Salerno).



VP situation shows little real change.



Overall air losses looks ok, but German side includes a lot of Italian planes.



Strategically, I am going to invade Italy, at the least to force Italy out of the war. This will allow me to grab Sardinia and Corsica for later, as well as take enough of the south to mean I avoid the VP penalty for not holding any ground on the mainland. Beyond that, I'm not too sure how much I will actually commit although I am building up for a second major set of landings.

I think it helps worry an axis player if they don't see any early commitment, especially if their rail net is being bombed out from Cherbourg to Foggia

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RE: Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943 - 2/21/2015 3:28:33 PM   
Q-Ball


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At this stage, the only aircraft you really need to keep in England are strategic bombers, recon, and escorts. There is not a ton to gain from tactical craft, unless he contests the air over Holland, which I bet he won't. He probably has his planes too far from England to bomb the airfields.

You are also going to need ALOT of planes on Naval Interdiction for your move onto Italy. Coastal Command TBs and Wellingtons are good, if you need more planes I think the best are BC Wellingtons with the Mine loadout. Just be ready for a max Axis effort against your beachhead.

If you are landing on Italy, you are also going to want to start expanding your airfields on Sicily ASAP. You may want to build a couple new ones on the North coast.

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 2/21/2015 4:31:36 PM >


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RE: Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943 - 2/21/2015 4:51:22 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:

Fighter Command forced a number of air battles over the Netherlands and did decent damage (shot down 10 German fighters for 47 of mine).


Naive question: is this really favorable for the Allies? Seems like the Germans would be OK with this loss ratio. Admittedly it's a rather small number of planes on either side.

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RE: Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943 - 2/21/2015 6:00:41 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

Fighter Command forced a number of air battles over the Netherlands and did decent damage (shot down 10 German fighters for 47 of mine).


Naive question: is this really favorable for the Allies? Seems like the Germans would be OK with this loss ratio. Admittedly it's a rather small number of planes on either side.


It's not a bad question. The answer is that it's probably still beneficial to Allies; depending on plane or pilot type, but if it's RAF Spitfires, the Allies can easily replace both planes and pilots. Germans cannot replace those pilots. Allies get something like 700 trained pilots a turn, and the Germans get 37. Killing German pilots is the best way to degrade the LW.

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Post #: 17
RE: Turn 6: 14-20 August 1943 - 2/22/2015 7:12:35 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

At this stage, the only aircraft you really need to keep in England are strategic bombers, recon, and escorts. There is not a ton to gain from tactical craft, unless he contests the air over Holland, which I bet he won't. He probably has his planes too far from England to bomb the airfields.

You are also going to need ALOT of planes on Naval Interdiction for your move onto Italy. Coastal Command TBs and Wellingtons are good, if you need more planes I think the best are BC Wellingtons with the Mine loadout. Just be ready for a max Axis effort against your beachhead.

If you are landing on Italy, you are also going to want to start expanding your airfields on Sicily ASAP. You may want to build a couple new ones on the North coast.


We're up to about T15 and I'm keeping my sea lanes open, the best he is putting up is a #2 and I'm generating #9s with some ease. Now there may be two reasons for this:

a) the answer when I am worried ... he's saving it all up for if I make a much larger landing so he can slaughter an entire army on the beaches;
b) the answer when I am optimistic ... he's not been able to really build up the Luftwaffe as I've made culling numbers and viable bases a bit of a project

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

Fighter Command forced a number of air battles over the Netherlands and did decent damage (shot down 10 German fighters for 47 of mine).


Naive question: is this really favorable for the Allies? Seems like the Germans would be OK with this loss ratio. Admittedly it's a rather small number of planes on either side.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball


quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

Fighter Command forced a number of air battles over the Netherlands and did decent damage (shot down 10 German fighters for 47 of mine).


Naive question: is this really favorable for the Allies? Seems like the Germans would be OK with this loss ratio. Admittedly it's a rather small number of planes on either side.


It's not a bad question. The answer is that it's probably still beneficial to Allies; depending on plane or pilot type, but if it's RAF Spitfires, the Allies can easily replace both planes and pilots. Germans cannot replace those pilots. Allies get something like 700 trained pilots a turn, and the Germans get 37. Killing German pilots is the best way to degrade the LW.


I'm mostly using/losing Hurricane IIs. Whether its how I've deployed fighter command or that they actually have decent range and are tough, if unspectacular, fighters, those are the ones that turn up in that sector. They are effectively protecting part of my strat air routes and the flank of the bombing in France. In addition there are some decent rail targets in the Netherlands (as jwolf will be able to guess, I do find bombing Amsterdam a bit strange) and I'm playing 'chicken' with unescorted bombers to hit these. This ends in a bit of a disaster when smokingdave set me a trap but on balance worked out.

But overall, I take the view that the airwar is a game of attrition and its better to generate uneven battles than let the Luftwaffe maintain its strength. The next phase of the airwar in Italy is essentially dominated by this mindset.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/22/2015 8:15:13 AM >


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Post #: 18
Turn 7: 21-27 August 1943 - 2/24/2015 10:08:52 AM   
loki100


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Turn 7: 21-27 August 1943

VP situation is predictable, last turn had seen better bombing results (probably as Bomber Command managed to find Hannover this time) so the net strategic air war VP was +3 .



Having let most of the Med airforce rest for a couple of turns, and complete the redeployment from the UK, I start setting up for an invasion of the mainland. My goal is to confuse the Axis as to the real target so I set up naval and land interdiction both at Salerno and around Lauria. In effect, I want a battle of attrition with the Luftwaffe before I land. To assist this, a massive recon effort is going into both spotting German troop deployments and which airfields are in use.



In northern Europe, decide to return to bombing the U-Boats and to double up 8 Air and Bomber Command at Frankfurt. My plan was to go for a target I'd ignored in the hope the interceptors were deployed elsewhere and to combine a day/night raid to overwhelm the defenses.

The consequence of that decision were horrible. 881 planes lost, though I did destroy 234 axis planes too. Bomber Command did a good job at Frankfurt and at Flensburg. 8 Air was hit hard at both Bremerhaven and Frankfurt was a disaster (though it did do a lot of damage)



Overall air losses were substantial for 8 Air with nearly 200 bombers lost. However, the German fighters suffered with 175 Bf-109s and 60 Fw-190s lost.



My recon efforts gave me a good oversight of the German deployments in Italy, next turn I am going to start bombing their airbases.



While the planned invasion is ready, I'd like to have a couple more turns to improve my air control.



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Post #: 19
RE: Turn 7: 21-27 August 1943 - 2/24/2015 3:54:33 PM   
Q-Ball


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I think bombing railyards in Germany at this stage is a waste. Railyard bombing is important at choke points, like Northern France in 1944. It's not going to do much in Central Germany at this stage. You're better off dropping those bombs on something else, like Manpower, HI, or Fuel....

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Post #: 20
RE: Turn 7: 21-27 August 1943 - 2/26/2015 7:09:15 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

I think bombing railyards in Germany at this stage is a waste. Railyard bombing is important at choke points, like Northern France in 1944. It's not going to do much in Central Germany at this stage. You're better off dropping those bombs on something else, like Manpower, HI, or Fuel....


fair comment, guess this (and my vs AI game) is a bit of an experiment. If I understand the effect is two fold, there is the immediate increase in the cost of loading and unloading units. Agree that in 1943 this is no real issue as realistically the German player does not need to fear a massive secondary landing (? maybe) so that is a minor problem. The second gain though is that the manual indicates that the level of functioning railyards creates the capacity to move resources as well as supply around. So snipping at that, means that the production remains where it was produced not where it was needed.

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Post #: 21
Turn 8: 28 August – 3 September 1943 - 2/26/2015 7:14:07 AM   
loki100


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Turn 8: 28 August – 3 September 1943

The hammering that 8 Air force took in the previous turn rather influenced my options this time. The good news was one of the highest per-turn VP counts I've managed for bombing:



This, however, puts it all in context:



Unless there is a real need, I don't use airgroups under 70 morale. In this case, resting a lot of 8 Air is not just a response to shattered morale, its also a method to allow my pools to recover.

I decided to only use Bomber Command over Germany, leaving 8 Air to carry on bombing infrastructure in France.

In the Med, I carry on covering both potential landing zones (Lauria and Salerno), but now I've spotted a lot of the Luftwaffe bases so shift most of the available tactical and level bombers to hitting airfields



I'm keeping the fighter bombers back for now, I find they suffer too many losses on airfield raids and want them nice and fresh for when I shift to interdiction.

The net result was air losses back to normal:

Bomber Command did an excellent job on Freiburg and Kleve



In the Med, the first round of airbase attacks destroyed around 40 planes on the ground and a lot more fighters around their airbases.



Have built up good levels of naval interdiction at both potential landing sites but decide not to risk an invasion this turn. I still have time, and would like to continue weakening the Luftwaffe if I can. So having made a start on this strategy, I'd like to escalate it before risking too much.




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Post #: 22
RE: Turn 8: 28 August – 3 September 1943 - 2/26/2015 3:38:16 PM   
marion61

 

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Your strategic bombers are taking all those losses needlessly. Your flying missions where the fighter intercepts outnumber you. If you hit a one hex target, set the strike number to 1, and set requested to a number above the planes you have. This will send them on one mission to that target a day with the maximum planes available. This will stop his turning a lot of your bombers back, and it will increase bombing damage significantly. These are dumb bombs, and the more you drop at once, the better chance you have of hitting something intended. Set a 1 hex this way for one city, for two days, then create another for another city for two more days, and then a third for two days, and give them the 7th day off. You lower fatigue from flying everyday that far, but you will see bomb damage increase and you won't lose as many planes and you'll be killing a lot more of his. I set my bombers flying that far into staggered days. Day's 1-3 and 5-7. You wear them out if you fly them to Hamburg or further day after day.

My two and a half cents.

< Message edited by meklore61 -- 2/26/2015 4:40:56 PM >

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Post #: 23
RE: Turn 8: 28 August – 3 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 7:14:32 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: meklore61

Your strategic bombers are taking all those losses needlessly. Your flying missions where the fighter intercepts outnumber you. If you hit a one hex target, set the strike number to 1, and set requested to a number above the planes you have. This will send them on one mission to that target a day with the maximum planes available. This will stop his turning a lot of your bombers back, and it will increase bombing damage significantly. These are dumb bombs, and the more you drop at once, the better chance you have of hitting something intended. Set a 1 hex this way for one city, for two days, then create another for another city for two more days, and then a third for two days, and give them the 7th day off. You lower fatigue from flying everyday that far, but you will see bomb damage increase and you won't lose as many planes and you'll be killing a lot more of his. I set my bombers flying that far into staggered days. Day's 1-3 and 5-7. You wear them out if you fly them to Hamburg or further day after day.

My two and a half cents.


thanks for this, one thing I am struggling with though is how to get planes to appear in multiple directives?

Have started reducing the number of raids to 1 a day.

More generally that disaster at Frankfurt was due to a gamble that failed. Mostly I don't bomb the same target more than one week in the hope that smokindave will move on his fighters, so this time I gambled that he had redeployed ... and he hadn't.

all part of the fun (? ) aspect of the air planning game, great when you feel you have gained an advantage, horrible when you realise you have badly miscalculated

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Post #: 24
Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 7:39:40 AM   
loki100


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Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943

I'm slowly losing control of the U-Boat part of the VP war. My disaster a few weeks back with 8 Airforce has both reduced my capacity to hit the U-boat factories and my willingness to risk further heavy losses. Bomber Command sometimes does a decent amount of damage but most time inflicts limited damage that I guess will repair very quickly.



In Italy my air campaign is all about trying to judge where the Axis forces are, setting off a bit of confusion and from now on, trying to force the Luftaffe to fight when it suits me.



To try and recover some U-boat points, I decide to risk 8 Air at Bremen. Organise everything into a single raid of 520 bomber and 350 escorts. Bomber Command goes for the Ruhr and soft targets in the south.



None of which works out well. Bomber Command takes serious losses in the Ruhr and 8 Air losses almost 300 bombers over Bremen.



The only reward is that Bomber Command did do a lot of damage at the Ruhr as did 8 Airforce.

In Italy my campaign of attacking the Luftwaffe directly continues with 80 fighters and bombers destroyed on the ground.



I also now have a pretty good idea of the German deployments (both land and air).




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Post #: 25
RE: Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 8:35:32 AM   
JocMeister

 

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Ouch! 300 bombers in week. What settings are you using?

This early in the war I would do 1 big strike 3 times per week to minimize losses. Due to pools running dry I was down to 2 strikes per week for a while. But I was using an older version where the B17G wasn´t available until 2 months later then it is now.

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Post #: 26
RE: Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 2:46:19 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister

Ouch! 300 bombers in week. What settings are you using?

This early in the war I would do 1 big strike 3 times per week to minimize losses. Due to pools running dry I was down to 2 strikes per week for a while. But I was using an older version where the B17G wasn´t available until 2 months later then it is now.


I'm still making the mental shift from vs AI... where mistakes may hurt ... to PBEM (where they can hurt very badly). In that case I forgot to lift the altitude which would've helped a lot and perhaps only 2 days not the 3 I did.

The AAR is about 10-12 turns behind where we are up to.

In defense, it wasn't just oversight, it was a deliberate attempt to send in a heavily protected raid in the hope of damaging the Luftwaffe too. So part of the trade off was the city's industries pretty much trashed and 76 German fighters lost.

I guess I am still hunting for a tool that will work as attrition rather than anything more subtle.

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Post #: 27
RE: Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 4:15:18 PM   
jwolf

 

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OK let's say you took out 76 enemy fighters for the loss of 300 of your bombers. I honestly don't know how the numbers work out, but if you say it then I'll believe this level of attrition works in the Allies' favor. Nevertheless, this strategy seems almost ... Stalinesque ... transplanting the brutal attrition of the Eastern Front onto the air war over NW Europe.

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Post #: 28
RE: Turn 9: 4 – 10 September 1943 - 2/27/2015 6:45:23 PM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

OK let's say you took out 76 enemy fighters for the loss of 300 of your bombers. I honestly don't know how the numbers work out, but if you say it then I'll believe this level of attrition works in the Allies' favor. Nevertheless, this strategy seems almost ... Stalinesque ... transplanting the brutal attrition of the Eastern Front onto the air war over NW Europe.


no the strategy was potentially sound, go in mob handed with a lot of escorts and come away with 1-1 losses, the reality was it was a disaster, I didn't even get 1-1 with the fighter losses.

Lot to learn about managing the strategic airwar, its relatively easy vs AI, harder when a player concentrates and sets traps for you

But this is the one aspect of the game where you can convert relative strength to dominance via attrition. You certainly can't do with the Allied ground forces, but as with the Soviets, its all too easy to disapate brute strength

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Turn 10: 11-17 September 1943 - 3/2/2015 6:57:12 PM   
loki100


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Turn 10: 11-17 September 1943

VP situation remains pretty steady. Last turn was a net +2 for bombing (+4 in general, -2 for U-Boats), so there is that reward for my heavy losses. But I think I can't cope with this pattern carrying on for much longer.



Anyway in Italy, carry on preparing for the main assault. This time I have decided to invade, so everything is concentrated around the planned landings at Salerno. The actual invasion is 2 infantry divisions supported by the British 1 Airborne



I also carry on bombing the Luftwaffe on the ground. Also this turn most of the squadrons I moved from the UK are ready so I commit the Fighter Bombers to generate interdiction around Salerno

After last turn's losses, I restrict Bomber Command and 8 Air to single well escorted raids.

The result is air losses down to 372, with the air field attacks being the most costly.



And thus elements of US 5 Army approach the coast



… I am not at all confident about this. My fear of a major disaster is one reason why I am opting to land just 2 divisions on a single beach [1]. At the least it should knock Italy out of the war and I think all German units have been withdrawn from Corsica and Sardinia.

[1] - with hindsight, I even picked the wrong beach but we'll come to that error in due time



< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/2/2015 7:58:39 PM >


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