From: Utlima Thule
I haven't dared to try Grand Campaign yet in WitW, so this will help.
glad its useful, I don't think I'm using a particularly optimal approach but felt it was useful to link up results to what I am trying to achieve and why. That, to me, was the original mystery of the strategic airwar (ie why am I doing these things) so even if you end up doing some very different (and there are lots of alternative strategies), at least it provides a sort of rough framework.
Also, even more than WiTE, WiTW has long feedback loops between carrying out actions and seeing the consequences.
The air war is good fun, very asymetric, very pleasing on the rare turns when you pull off a neat trick and inflict heavy losses, very frustrating when you drop into a trap laid for you
It's too bad that the game doesn't include aircraft loss points as negative VPs, with heavy bombers counting more than fighters. That would further incentivize the Allied player to minimize a/c losses and protect bomber raids with escorts. Currently, Allied players really don't fear losing huge numbers of US heavy bombers in 1943 because they know that plenty of replacements are arriving. Schweinfurt-level losses in the game won't trigger the type of command crisis that occurred in real life.
Aye, the way the VP system works, it rewards using the bomber force in an attritional mode. So yes, if you do a Schweinfurt style disaster you may have to rest a few weeks to rebuild morale but its not a massive issue. On the other hand, you do need to optimise air power as there are a lot of constraints to really pushing your ground forces.
Also more generally you manage your entire air strategy knowing that come mid-44 you will have total air superiority. A key point to the 'Point Blank' directive was that the Allies still feared the Luftwaffe and what it might do to the planned Normandy landings. You know you can steadily convert your FB-F squadrons to FB as there is no concern.
Not sure what can be done about this, all these games have a degree of hindsight influencing player choice.
Brillant AAR Loki100! Thank you.
Could I ask a bit about your approach to Naval interdiction and squadrons you assign to it? I'm particularly interested in the Med, as not getting great results there even using the ideas from HarryBanana's guide
1) Do you move any naval squadrons from UK to the Med?
2) In your game currently how are you setup? ie What type of coastal squadrons are where? ie Do you have squadrons still covering N.African coast to allow inter-theatre troop movements? I had trouble both covering Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and having any cover in N.Africa for troops sailing back from Italy to UK in Winter in early '44 ready for D-Day. I found also my patrol craft pools were getting a bit on the low side, combined with bad winter weather I was struggling much more than when I played the game 18 months ago. Result was lost ships and elements from my divisions in transit.
3) What altitude do you use for Naval ADs? Do you use the 5K suggested by HarryBanana od the default 15k?
4) Do you use auto Naval patrols? I did but only for Coastal AF and Coastal Command
5) Do you use any LBs (not specifically naval trained) on this task (other than those assigned in the OOB at the start)?
Look forward to more from this thread
I'm not sure if the changes were planned but my feeling is that naval air is more effective in this build than earlier. So I've not moved any naval air to the Med (which I think is a bit gamey to be honest) and left the N African units spread out as they start. In past games I've lost too much shipping to attrition etc and have come to appreciate the need for maintaining low level auto-patrols all along the coast.
I'm letting it default to 15,000', looking at the #5-6 interdiction north of Messina that is working out fine. I've turned off auto naval for everything but the coastal commands, think you can end up with a lot of unexpected losses otherwise.
I protected the British landings at Sicily with Wellingtons using the naval load out and will probably do the same when I invade Sardinia. You don't get as good a result as with the specialist planes but its usually enough to cancel out any local axis interdiction values.
Just a question, why using 3 days in a row bombing (D3,D4,D5)? Why not D1,D3,D5?
You want to recon before and after, so I would never do strat bombing on D1 due to this. Against the AI its fine to stick to a pattern, its not that subtle in its response and it certainly doesn't track your chosen days/altitude etc in planning its response. In a PBEM I'll mix both of these around in case my opponent is trying to be efficient in their own allocations.
The axis player can set up their day fighters either in designated AS boxes or leave them to auto-intercept. There are good and bad to both, but if they do AS, they may want not to fly when you don't (less operational losses). Shifting your days means they have no choice but to fly all week - assuming they also want to disrupt your recon efforts. Equally every now and then bombing at high altitude can bypass the axis fighters completely (at a cost in accuracy of course)