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Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it?

 
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Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/1/2019 2:07:26 AM   
MattFL

 

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I'm definitely not one of those guys who really understands the engine deeply, my competence is moving the units around and putting them where I think they need to be. I really have no understanding whatsoever of what causes logistics casualties, or, in the example of this specific question, if what I'm doing in my current game is helping me or hurting me. Perhaps those more in the know can shed some light on it.

So each turn I bomb the German front lines like crazy. 2 bombings per hex. It costs me about 250+ planes each turn to kill around 3,000 Axis. In our game we had a pretty crazy air war going (currently turn 20 or so) from which the Germans I think have pulled back as these bombings are completely uncontested in the air (I wish they were contested - the goal is to try to wipe out the German air force, but it has pulled back during mud and doesn't come out to play like it did earlier in the war!). So is this a good trade off - to lose 250+ planes to cause 3,000'ish casualties? Over 100 turns, it's 25,000 planes to kill 300,000 enemy. Can I sustain this loss rate? Can the GHC? As a really high percentage of the casualties caused by these bombings are "killed", do these bombings lead to increased casualties in the logistics phase for the Germans?

My gut tells me to continue, particularly in the hopes that his air force will come back out to play at some point, but perhaps someone more in the know can shed some light on if this strategy is helping me or hurting me. FYI, i'm producing around 500 planes per turn production capacity and I religiously build 8 new air groups every turn. Overall air losses in the game to date are 2625 Axis and 16245 Soviet on Turn 20. I would guess that ~40% of my air losses are "self-inflicted" in that they are happening during my turn. Could be more, really I have no idea.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/1/2019 3:24:23 AM   
56ajax


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Provided you have the air frames I don't see how this can hurt, and you should have plenty of them. Use up all your old air frames and try to keep your modern planes in reserve for the first 20 turns or so.

As the front settles down and the fort levels go up it may be less effective so prioritise units in clear hexes.

And remember you can get an enemy unit to retreat without killing anyone or bomb it and kill 20...

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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/1/2019 7:09:15 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Continue. Once you have more Il 2 groups and experience is high, results will be even better. Manual bombing is the primary Job for Soviet bomber arm imo.

Before the 1.10.00 conversion of Il 2 from dive to tac bombers results were even better.

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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/1/2019 5:09:34 PM   
MattFL

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist

Continue. Once you have more Il 2 groups and experience is high, results will be even better. Manual bombing is the primary Job for Soviet bomber arm imo.

Before the 1.10.00 conversion of Il 2 from dive to tac bombers results were even better.


Yeah, the IL-2's are great and I build an average of four new IL-2 air groups per turn. Right now about 12% of my total air force are IL-2s and this number will continue to increase every turn. Earlier in the game, I was prioritizing fighters because the goal was to fight the German Air Force. Now, I'm prioritizing bombers and tac bombers.

One of the reasons I use everything so much as well is to continue to increase exp.

So the mad bombing will continue.

< Message edited by MattFL -- 9/1/2019 5:10:05 PM >

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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/2/2019 1:51:38 AM   
thedoctorking


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All the time. I try to make sure every air group gets to 60% or so of miles flown every turn. I set almost all fighter-bombers to bombing mode (keeping only a few with high experience ratings to fly my best FB's as fighters). You should be able to make at least 200 bombing raids a turn once you get your air force squared away in the fall of 1941. At first, your average damage will be like 30 or 40 guys a shot, but that's 6000 casualties a week. Once your air units get their experience up and you deploy more technically advanced airframes, that should go up to 50-100, or something like 15,000. That's a very significant contributor to draining the Axis armies. I concentrate particularly on the Axis minor armies (especially the Finns) since they have smaller manpower pools. If the Axis fighters come up to defend, so much the better. You will run their fatigue levels up and then they will start falling prey to your fighters. If you notice Axis fighter casualties starting to grow in a sector, try bombing their airfields (bring plenty of fighters and leave the IL-2's and long-range LB's at home).

And don't forget about the U2VS's. You can create NBAP squadrons and then set them to day bombing. They are not nearly as good as IL-2's at killing Axis ground troops, but they are much better than nothing and will still contribute to Axis fighter fatigue.

You should put plenty of AAA in your air group HQ's and stack them with or next to the airbases in case the Axis try airfield bombing. But you want them to try, because it will result in lots of bomber losses and more fighter fatigue. You should be able to gain air superiority - in the current version, anyway - by 1942.

It is true that units with higher fortification value are less vulnerable. Once the lines settle down, it might be hard for you to maintain your average number of kills, but persist anyway because your planes are getting experience and drawing up Axis fighters.

< Message edited by thedoctorking -- 9/2/2019 3:45:31 AM >

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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/2/2019 3:28:57 AM   
MattFL

 

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That's interesting because earlier in the game, when the Axis was totally contesting control of the sky, I was putting all FB to fighter mode to put as many fighters in the sky as possible. My goals early in the war were to kill as many German fighters as I could. This went on an hot back and forth between myself and GHC opponent for about 15 turns and then I think he'd had enough because it was getting to the point where he was losing near parity to me when using ground support. Since that time, I've been building much more bombers (tac and otherwise) than fighters. To me, and I could be wrong, one of the keys to Soviet victory is in the air. As I said when I originally posted this was that I really have no idea what effect it has in terms of the engine, but destroying the Luftwaffe (or getting them to basically stop flying - same thing) is the key. But the losses are so horrific that it makes one second guess this strategy.

What's great is that pretty much every person who has responded has said that i'm doing the right thing, so it will certainly continue. And really, if you had all said I was making a huge mistake, I think i'd have continued in any case because to me it felt right. But it is nice to have some validation.

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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/2/2019 8:38:37 PM   
joelmar


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I was never losing near parity with you and that is not the reason I changed my ways. First on turn 14 or so, I was too aggressive in my airbase placement and you managed to bomb my fighter airfields, which I had been careful not to let happen before, and that was a big hurt with 150 fighters lost if I remember well, even though you lost a lot yourself to AA and dogfights (maybe that was what you meant with 'near parity').

Anyway, after that famous turn when I lost so many fighters in one go, I brought back my airfields beyond 20 hexes and used them only to help for the most important ground attacks/support and also some interdiction.

And when mud hit, I just retired most of the air groups I had on the map first to let everyone rest, because most fighter air groups had some accumulated fatigue, and also I didn't needed them to support ground operation for now, so I just seized the occasion to save trucks. I feel these trucks will be more useful during blizzard. By the way, I still had a few air groups on the map, mainly in Crimea to try and interdict your naval movements to/from Sevastopol, but for a reason I ignore, they never did their job. And I know they could since the same air groups from the same air bases did interdict some of your naval shipments in earlier turns. Anyway, too bad, and since they didn't have anything more to do, I also sent them to NR last turn.

Another advantage is that it's also hard on your trucks to keep so many guys on the map during mud, so I have a small return there also. And of course your air force also suffers a lot... added to what you already lost in the mud turns, you have almost 1000 air frames that are damaged. So the 250 planes lost climbed to 293 this turn if we add in your logistic phase, and there will be more yet to come. 293 good air frames gone for none of mine... It's a really good ratio I think!lol! I know it opens wide the door to some experience gain on your side, but it's a choice and a trade off, as anything in this game is.

< Message edited by joelmar -- 9/2/2019 9:34:58 PM >


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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/3/2019 1:21:17 AM   
MattFL

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: joelmar

I was never losing near parity with you and that is not the reason I changed my ways. First on turn 14 or so, I was too aggressive in my airbase placement and you managed to bomb my fighter airfields, which I had been careful not to let happen before, and that was a big hurt with 150 fighters lost if I remember well, even though you lost a lot yourself to AA and dogfights (maybe that was what you meant with 'near parity').

Anyway, after that famous turn when I lost so many fighters in one go, I brought back my airfields beyond 20 hexes and used them only to help for the most important ground attacks/support and also some interdiction.

And when mud hit, I just retired most of the air groups I had on the map first to let everyone rest, because most fighter air groups had some accumulated fatigue, and also I didn't needed them to support ground operation for now, so I just seized the occasion to save trucks. I feel these trucks will be more useful during blizzard. By the way, I still had a few air groups on the map, mainly in Crimea to try and interdict your naval movements to/from Sevastopol, but for a reason I ignore, they never did their job. And I know they could since the same air groups from the same air bases did interdict some of your naval shipments in earlier turns. Anyway, too bad, and since they didn't have anything more to do, I also sent them to NR last turn.

Another advantage is that it's also hard on your trucks to keep so many guys on the map during mud, so I have a small return there also. And of course your air force also suffers a lot... added to what you already lost in the mud turns, you have almost 1000 air frames that are damaged. So the 250 planes lost climbed to 293 this turn if we add in your logistic phase, and there will be more yet to come. 293 good air frames gone for none of mine... It's a really good ratio I think!lol! I know it opens wide the door to some experience gain on your side, but it's a choice and a trade off, as anything in this game is.


Of course you never lost anything close to near parity overall, that's not what I said. I'm referring only to your turns on your ground support for your attacks where I was taking pretty massive losses compared to you pretty consistently but then on turn maybe 16'ish or so the losses started to be quite a bit more even (well, relative to the 3-1+ they had been previously so I use the term parity pretty loosely!) on your turn in your ground support. It was around this time when you had said in our emails discussions of the game that you were tired of seeing your bombers go down in flames or something to that effect. My point was, if you weren't flying as much ground support as you had been previously and weren't intercepting me any longer or giving me any opportunities to get near your air bases, I didn't need as many fighters as before, so I switched to building more bombers as I lose a ton of those bombing your units. I wasn't implying overall that air losses were near parity, I don't think that will ever be the case.

As for your naval interdictors, I haven't even done much sea movement to begin with and got interdicted several times. So if they weren't doing their jobs after that I think it was more that I wasn't moving very much, a few turns nothing at all.

And absolutely, my air force is taking an absolute beating right now while yours is on vacation in the Alps. Hence the entire point of the thread - are the losses worth the casualties they're inflicting? There's no disputing the numbers, Soviet planes are going down in droves during turns where they don't even see a German plane at all. Is it worth the losses to kill German soldiers? I feel like it is, but really I have no way of knowing for sure.


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RE: Soviet Mad Bomber Strategy - Is it worth it? - 9/3/2019 2:05:54 AM   
joelmar


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quote:


ORIGINAL: MattFL
Of course you never lost anything close to near parity overall, that's not what I said.


Ok, I understand your meaning. That's close to what I said: "with 150 fighters lost if I remember well, even though you lost a lot yourself to AA and dogfights (maybe that was what you meant with 'near parity')."

quote:


ORIGINAL: MattFL

As for your naval interdictors, I haven't even done much sea movement to begin with and got interdicted several times. So if they weren't doing their jobs after that I think it was more that I wasn't moving very much, a few turns nothing at all.


yes, I know they did some interceptions a few turns back, they just didn't do anything when I wanted them to. They had a good leader and it was right on top of the airbases, so I did put all the chances I could on my side. But it didn't work out, mud is probably the cause, good for you, your garrison is now maximised, and I lost a few trucks for nothing, but no big deal :-)

quote:


ORIGINAL: MattFL
And absolutely, my air force is taking an absolute beating right now while yours is on vacation in the Alps. Hence the entire point of the thread - are the losses worth the casualties they're inflicting? There's no disputing the numbers, Soviet planes are going down in droves during turns where they don't even see a German plane at all. Is it worth the losses to kill German soldiers? I feel like it is, but really I have no way of knowing for sure.


I understand your meaning. I have to admit the 3000 men I've been loosing each turn are definitely going into my losses (also not good for morale of the surviving guys) and it's not to my liking. But it also has a good payoff for me, I can afford the men I loose, my manpower pool is still going up at a good rate (for now) and most of my units are at an OK TOE and better. So it was a choice I made. Of course, if my losses had been much higher and my TOE situation critical, I would have taken action. So IMO the bottom line is that it has it's benefits for you to do it and you can afford it anyway, as long as it doesn't affect your future operations.

< Message edited by joelmar -- 9/3/2019 2:06:49 AM >


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But on this battlefield no one wins!"

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