I have played about 40 turns total - 3+7 Husky and 15+15 on the 1943/1945 scenario. So, for what it is worth, I suggest the following Air Planning steps (please note while much is automated, I prefer complexity, detail and micromanagement):
(1) Commanders Report (CR) - start at the CR (key - c) and using the filters at the bottom of the screen (tiny font on my screen) check/use the Pct Morale filter (mine is 0 to 50) and then set any air units in that range to Rest (Mission Setting/4); and next on the CR, also at the bottom in tiny font, set check/use Pct Fatigue filter (mine is 25 to 100) and then set any air units in that range to Rest [during my first ten turns of the 1943/1945 scenario, I was getting twice the air losses as the Germans and it was getting worse - I finally learned it was due to morale and fatigue being very high and rising].
(2) Plan - next, decide what you want to do, i.e. air superiority, ground attack, bomb cities, recon (for example, I decided to attack the German air capabilities first by bombing fuel, oil, railroads, aircraft production and attacking airfields) and set up the associated Air Directive (ADs) for each Command.
(3) Micromanagement - I found I could decrease my air losses by micromanaging each AD, for example, I use large number of aircraft in my attacks and bombing, set which days of the week to attack, set the number of strikes per day, and the altitude.
(4) Recon - After reading numerous earlier threads, I set recon altitudes because each recon air group has a specific camera loadout that works at only low (12000ft), medium (24000ft) or high altitude (35000ft), and the automatic settings appeared to be inconsistent with the camera's capability.
(5) Bomb Loadout - Numerous threads have discussed bomb loadout and this has to my understanding not been fully resolved - so as someone said - use common sense - my automatic loadouts were generally 1 or 2 large bombs whereas manually I select a large number of smaller bombs (for example, four 500 lbs versus two 1000 lbs).
(6) Plane Upgrade - during each AP phase, I manually upgrade resting air groups recognizing which aircraft are available in the pool, their capabilities such as range, and what is being produced.
(7) AirBase Supply - I generally concentrate my air groups based on aircraft range. Because supply is an important part of this game, I set the supply priority to 0 for any airbase with no aircraft on the base.
(8) Review - last I use the AD Targets (shift y) to review what I did
Hope that helps a'bit. I am sure next week I will learn something new.
While I am on-a-roll, several other things I have learned in no particular order and will probably need updating next week.
(a) Logistic/Supply - very important to this game, particularly railroads and ports. After taking control of Sicily, my supply situation was not as good as I wanted. Turned out the railroads had very high damage, so I moved the two MTO Rail groups to Sicily and took three/four turns to repair the rail lines.
(b) Reinforcements - new airgroups should/must be based at a airbase that belongs to the Command the air group is assigned to.
< Message edited by SLB -- 10/15/2016 4:13:31 PM >