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Interesting test of Bomber strike size

 
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Interesting test of Bomber strike size - 4/24/2020 6:53:47 PM   
jecunningham

 

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Joined: 3/13/2006
From: Nova Scotia originally, now Michigan
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I've been curious about this for a long time so spent a few hours today running some tests. Using the Air Campaign introductory scenario I sorted and organized my Air Groups using the Turn 1 advice from HarryBanana's Guide to Strategic Bombing. I kept the ADs simple, 1 strategic Bombing of Essen, area 3, for Bomber Command. 2 Strategic Recon ADs for 8th Air Force, 1 to match the BC bombing raid and 1 of Hamburg. Then a strategic bombing of Hamburg for the 8th. Finally a Strategic Recon of Vienna and matching bomber raid for the 15th.

I ran 6 tests, 3 times each, varying only the Strike Num and the Req AC in the directive advanced options.
I set the number of strikes to use all of the bombers available/divided by the Req AC. So, for example, 1,400 bombers available divided by 100 per strike equals 14 strikes.

Here are the average Bombing VPs for each size of strike:
Test 1 used the AI (Auto)defaults: 375
Test 2 used 100 bombers: 508
Test 3 used 200 bombers: 476
Test 4 used 300 bombers: 440
Test 5 used 50 bombers: 571
Test 6 used 25 bombers: 604

Test 6 generated 600+ points every time I ran it.

It certainly looks from this like smaller strikes generally produce better results, certainly substantially better than the AI defaults, which all the help posts point out, but also appears on the surface to be much better than 100/200/300.

Interesting, thoughts?

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RE: Interesting test of Bomber strike size - 4/24/2020 8:45:44 PM   
cfulbright

 

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I'm going to reply to two different aspects of your tests:

1. The 100 AC per strike causing you to have as many as 14 strikes in an AD. I think you did the math backward. What I do is count the number of designated targets in the area and then divide that into the number of AC. So if there are only two Fuel targets in the Hamburg area (area = 1), I'd divide the number of AC by 2, not aim for 100 AC per strike. I don't think 14 strikes that target only two designated targets does any good.

2. I wonder if the issue is that the larger number of bomber AC attracted a larger LW fighter response, disrupting the strikes? I always assign as many escort groups as possible, and try to achieve a 3:1 ratio of escorts to bombers. The Axis AI intercepts with roughly the same number of fighters as the Allies have in bombers. For example, if you send 100 bombers and 300 escorts, the Axis will intercept with 100-120 interceptors, and you'll have 2.5-3x advantage in escorts to interceptors.

Cary

(in reply to jecunningham)
Post #: 2
RE: Interesting test of Bomber strike size - 4/27/2020 11:24:41 AM   
loki100


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Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: online
As Cary says, you want to get strikes equal to targets in the apporpriate box, possibly amended by days you intend to bomb.

So if there are say 4 HI factories in your target AD, then #4 is the sensible max. You may want less if (a) this will fragment your bombers too much; or, (b) if you are going to bomb on multiple days - perhaps 2 or 3 is better and the bombers will rotate over the set days.

Some people have done well with the multiple small raid strategy, you don't do that much damage but it can all build up - I think QBall has made good use of this. There is a flaw, esp in PBEM, that if the axis concentrates you can get cut to pieces as a result, also you run up fatigue.

Generally, Harry's various guides are first rate, but they are based on relatively early iterations of the game. So be a bit careful as sometimes key issues have changed.

Roger

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