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Air superiority campaign - 10/17/2020 10:25:40 PM   
MagicMissile


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Another thing I have been thinking about is the ability to gain air superiority over an area. Now with invasions being made harder it will be even more important to have air superiority when you invade.

So how do you get air superiority well bombing enemy airbases comes to mind but does that really work?

I started the 1944 scenario. I put 3 German fighters on the rail line running in Northern France (9 supply no HQ nearby) and non active so no intercepts. They started with 94% effectiveness. I bombed them for 2 turns 2 units 4 times per turn and 1 unit 6 times so 7 bombers used per turn. After their effectiveness recovery on turn 3 the had lost 6 air factors in total and their effectiveness was 73/79/79%. The allies lost 12 airfactors to AA.

Is that a good enough outcome? You dont have all that many clear turns every summer to pursue such a campaign I would say. I think if you want to keep your airbases within range of the enemy but is not ready to defend them with interception shouldnt the losses taken be bigger? The allied actually suffered 2:1 losses to AA. You always have the option to move them out of range (at least until US get the 44 escort tech )

I think maybe the tactic to put you airforce on standby and then use them in your turn is a bit too efficient and cannot really be punished with an airbase bombing campaign. I think airbombing used to deal more damage before, maybe it did too well then but maybe it does too little now?

What do my fellow gamers think?

/MM




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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 8:30:22 AM   
ncc1701e


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I tend to agree. One thing about air superiority, I would like to see a kind of bonus when you are attacking air units on airfields the very first turn after declaring war on one country.

This would simulate surprise. Plenty of possibilities to use this with Poland, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Yugoslavia, USSR...

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 1:47:33 PM   
MagicMissile


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Yes I think that would be a nice addition. But as it is I think you would rather use your bombers for ground support than attacking airfields.

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 2:31:33 PM   
malkarma

 

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The first stage of the Battle of Britain was to destroy the radar stations and crush the UK airfields, it was succesful effort. During the first stages of Barbarossa the Lutwaffe destroyed a big chunk of the Red Air Force in the airfields. Before Overlord, USAF and british airforce smashed the rail network of Germany and France to a point that they were unable to send whole units (I´m talking to divison level units) to the front at the same time.
I would like to see those situations reflected in the game, but I have the feeling that this will be something that could happens in WP2.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 4:11:26 PM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: malkarma

The first stage of the Battle of Britain was to destroy the radar stations and crush the UK airfields, it was succesful effort.


Actually this second stage effort (the 1st stage of the BofB was the bombing of ships in the Channel to draw the RAF out) failed which is why the LW lost. Only 1 RAF base was ever closed for more than 48 hours (and that was only once), which is the same as 'never' in a 14 day turn. The German bombers simply did not have the payload to do enough damage. It is also important to realise that the shortage of fighter pilots was far more worrying than fighter numbers, and bombing airfields doesn't kill many pilots.

Similarly the radar system (which was so crucial but absent in WP) was never put out of action for 2 reasons. The stations' radar coverage overlapped so knocking 1 out temporarily made no difference whatsoever, and the LW didn't realise their importance so never made a big enough effort vs them. The (absent) Observation Corps also played a hugely valuable role in the BofB.

In real life, the soviet airforce/armed forces/weather/etc did a lot more damage to the LW than they do in WP in '41 despite the lack of airfield bombing at the beginning of Barbarossa in WP, and even more so in '42. The Barbarossa airbase had a huge impact in the first turn (as it were) but largely destroyed the cr#p a/c, many/most of which were probably inoperable anyway. The pilots weren't killed in large numbers which allowed quick recovery.


< Message edited by sillyflower -- 10/18/2020 4:21:55 PM >


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 5:10:12 PM   
ago1000


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@MM
Thanks again for taking the time with the AAR. Enjoyed them a gr8 deal. Kinda funny that now that none are happening that it's like waiting for your favorite TV series to start new episodes in a new season. lol.

My 0.76 of a cent:
Air supremacy takes on many degrees.
Being able to destroy enemy aircraft, in the air or on the fields is just one aspect to control the skies.
Ground interdiction to land movement is another(on opponents turn).
The total number of factors above your opponent you can muster to give yourself a tactical advantage in the air is another either in attacking or intercepting an enemy is another in various roles, invasions, land combat, etc.....
Even being able to paradrop in an area is dictated by air supremacy. These are lessons that were learned as the war went on.

From the beginnings of WP, I've always looked at Air and Naval units as in more of a supportive role to the main star, land combat. This has worked extremely well to date.

So it falls to reason that Air Sup is present in more land combat supportive roles:
a) ground attack support during land combat
b) interception and counter interception for land combat
c) port supply interdiction to reduce supply to land units
d) Attack ground units to reduce their effectiveness in future land combat.
e) Naval Attacks - only key area in WP where air plays the main character.

Any changes that occur I'm sure will be lessons that Alvaro has learned from programming WP Pacific, where air supremacy is more predominant and like mentioned before hopefully can be added to WP2.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 5:27:45 PM   
malkarma

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower

quote:

ORIGINAL: malkarma



Actually this second stage effort (the 1st stage of the BofB was the bombing of ships in the Channel to draw the RAF out) failed which is why the LW lost. Only 1 RAF base was ever closed for more than 48 hours (and that was only once), which is the same as 'never' in a 14 day turn. The German bombers simply did not have the payload to do enough damage. It is also important to realise that the shortage of fighter pilots was far more worrying than fighter numbers, and bombing airfields doesn't kill many pilots.

Similarly the radar system (which was so crucial but absent in WP) was never put out of action for 2 reasons. The stations' radar coverage overlapped so knocking 1 out temporarily made no difference whatsoever, and the LW didn't realise their importance so never made a big enough effort vs them. The (absent) Observation Corps also played a hugely valuable role in the BofB.

In real life, the soviet airforce/armed forces/weather/etc did a lot more damage to the LW than they do in WP in '41 despite the lack of airfield bombing at the beginning of Barbarossa in WP, and even more so in '42. The Barbarossa airbase had a huge impact in the first turn (as it were) but largely destroyed the cr#p a/c, many/most of which were probably inoperable anyway. The pilots weren't killed in large numbers which allowed quick recovery.



Maybe I´m going to be wrong, but I have to disagree here. The original purpose of BofB was to get air superiority in the channel to allow an invasion. They more or less fullfilled that goal by August '40. It doesn´t matter if you lack planes or aircrew, the fact is that UK was outnumbered in fighters agaisnt the Lutwaffe, obviously every german plane shooted down had a big chance to get rid of a german pilot. About the Radar, the germans managed to shut down the coverage in an area (something that could have been crucial), but failed to notice it.
Imho, the fatal mistake of the BofB was "the blitz". After the bold Berlin bombing by the RAF bombers, Hitler decided to retaliate in a doomed campaing against England cities.I said a doomed campaing because the Me-109 didn´t have enough range to protect the bombers inside english countryland, and the Me-1110 weren't an efficient air superiority figther (for obvious reasons), that ended in a enormous amount of losses for the lutwaffe, and also gave some time to RAF for recover her fighter force and to stablish her dominance over the channel.


< Message edited by malkarma -- 10/18/2020 5:38:08 PM >

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 6:01:58 PM   
Uxbridge


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A fleeting thought has crossed my mind from time to time, but I never took the effort to ask about it: When the system was changed so that no air attacks against a single ground unit should produce more than one hit/turn, was this changed with regard to air unit targets as well? If such is the case, knocking out enemy air units with successive air attacks don't seem likely to pay off.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 6:30:41 PM   
MagicMissile


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Thanks again, I hope to start some new games when the patch comes around might do an AAR or 2 then .

I agree that there are more ways to define air superiority for sure but I think the option to do an aggressive anti air campaign should be there but right now it seems hard. With that said it might not be a huge deal as the target hex usually is in between the opposing sides so very often both sides can keep there airbases out of reach of the opponents airforce while still able to be used to in ongoing land combats.

/MM


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 6:34:59 PM   
MagicMissile


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I am not sure if the change was for air as well. I think one US airplane scored 2 hits once in my simple test above so not sure if the one hit rule applies to airplanes as well but maybe they do (I might have seen wrong or something).

But yes inflicting 6 points and lose 12 doesnt seem to be a very good trade off . And the flying airplanes lose effectiveness as well so even that is not really a very big gain.

/MM


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 8:58:18 PM   
ago1000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uxbridge

A fleeting thought has crossed my mind from time to time, but I never took the effort to ask about it: When the system was changed so that no air attacks against a single ground unit should produce more than one hit/turn, was this changed with regard to air unit targets as well? If such is the case, knocking out enemy air units with successive air attacks don't seem likely to pay off.

+1
Multiple attacks don't seem to have an impact. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av1_SgQJp_k&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=WW2Boardgamer0100


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 9:15:18 PM   
MagicMissile


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I just became your newest subscriber .

Yea that was pretty damning I think something should be done here for sure. That outcome at least to me is not ok.

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/18/2020 11:50:25 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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You are bombing too much. Air strikes have diminishing returns as their effectiveness goes down.

Air strikes generally are good 1-2 times.

1 turn isn't going to wipe an air force. This is an ongoing campaign. Starting in the spring of 1944 as the Allies I start bombing each German airfield 1-2 times depending. I take 3, 4, 5 turns to do so. Then I invade. At this point they took a few real hits and lost quite a bit effectiveness so they don't have the firepower to kill my invasion force.

Planes literally don't matter. Pilots matter. Bombing an air field basically means wiping out planes and damaging the air field so they can't fly.
Very late in the war the Germans had thousands of fighters just sitting around. But they couldn't transport them anywhere to do good due to various reasons including pilots.



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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 8:37:02 AM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: malkarma

quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower

quote:

ORIGINAL: malkarma



Actually this second stage effort (the 1st stage of the BofB was the bombing of ships in the Channel to draw the RAF out) failed which is why the LW lost. Only 1 RAF base was ever closed for more than 48 hours (and that was only once), which is the same as 'never' in a 14 day turn. The German bombers simply did not have the payload to do enough damage. It is also important to realise that the shortage of fighter pilots was far more worrying than fighter numbers, and bombing airfields doesn't kill many pilots.

Similarly the radar system (which was so crucial but absent in WP) was never put out of action for 2 reasons. The stations' radar coverage overlapped so knocking 1 out temporarily made no difference whatsoever, and the LW didn't realise their importance so never made a big enough effort vs them. The (absent) Observation Corps also played a hugely valuable role in the BofB.

In real life, the soviet airforce/armed forces/weather/etc did a lot more damage to the LW than they do in WP in '41 despite the lack of airfield bombing at the beginning of Barbarossa in WP, and even more so in '42. The Barbarossa airbase had a huge impact in the first turn (as it were) but largely destroyed the cr#p a/c, many/most of which were probably inoperable anyway. The pilots weren't killed in large numbers which allowed quick recovery.



Maybe I´m going to be wrong, but I have to disagree here. The original purpose of BofB was to get air superiority in the channel to allow an invasion. They more or less fullfilled that goal by August '40. It doesn´t matter if you lack planes or aircrew, the fact is that UK was outnumbered in fighters agaisnt the Lutwaffe, obviously every german plane shooted down had a big chance to get rid of a german pilot. About the Radar, the germans managed to shut down the coverage in an area (something that could have been crucial), but failed to notice it.
Imho, the fatal mistake of the BofB was "the blitz". After the bold Berlin bombing by the RAF bombers, Hitler decided to retaliate in a doomed campaing against England cities.I said a doomed campaing because the Me-109 didn´t have enough range to protect the bombers inside english countryland, and the Me-1110 weren't an efficient air superiority figther (for obvious reasons), that ended in a enormous amount of losses for the lutwaffe, and also gave some time to RAF for recover her fighter force and to stablish her dominance over the channel.



I recommend James Holland's recent book on the BofB


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 10:08:10 AM   
MagicMissile


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Ok just for fun I followed your plan. I started up the 44 campaign again and used 3 bombers to bomb 3 fighters for 6 turns. First time with no supply trucks and the second one the allied spent supply trucks.

This is the result at the start of each turn (% is effectiveness) Making a list didnt work out so well but hopefully you can understand first number is fighter 1 then fighter 2 fighter 3 bomber 1 bomber 2 and finally bomber 3:

Axis Allied
Fi1 Fi2 Fi3 Bo1 Bo2 Bo3
Turn 1 94% 94% 94% 102% 102% 102%
Turn 2 83% 84% 86% 92% 90% 92%
Turn 3 81% 81% 82% 83% 81% 83%
Turn 4 81% 79% 81% 79% 81% 80%
Turn 5 81% 79% 81% 75% 78% 75%
Turn 6 82% 78% 81% 72% 76% 72%
Turn 7 83% 79% 82% 72% 72% 70%

Casualties: 18 German 13 allied

Axis Allied
Fi1 Fi2 Fi3 Bo1 Bo2 Bo3
Turn 1 94% 94% 94% 108% 108% 108%
Turn 2 83% 84% 85% 95% 95% 95%
Turn 3 80% 81% 81% 91% 91% 90%
Turn 4 78% 80% 81% 88% 88% 86%
Turn 5 78% 79% 81% 88% 86% 85%
Turn 6 78% 79% 82% 85% 83% 82%
Turn 7 79% 78% 82% 82% 84% 82%

Casualties: 13 German 16 allied

Conclusions: There is a fair amount of randomness in the casualties as in this example the allied lost more when they spent supply trucks than when they did not. And both runs were a whole lot different from my first try when losses where 2:1 in German favour. I saw several 2s and at least one 3 so one can lose more than 1 point in one bombing run but that is fairly rare.

Ok I understand it now. You only need to bomb a couple of turns 2-3 to take an airunit down from 100-mid 90s down to 80 in effectiveness. There is a big effect on the first turn of bombing much smaller effect on turn 2 and after that basically no effect. Also if you bomb units same turn as you invade they will not have the recovery yet for that turn and their effectiveness would be lower. Of course if the Germans use supply trucks of their own the effect would be smaller. Also note that your bombers will be more tired than the target if you dont spend supply trucks.

I think given that Germany have airbases in range of allied air and is not willing to defend them with interceptions and that Germany usually have a fair amount of supply trucks available that the result is fairly underwhelming but I respect the designer choice. At least I know how it works now .

Edit: Also note that I used the best Allied air units they got in this experiment. I made another run with 3 10 range bombers. Result were depressing. Losses 10 German 21 allied German effectiveness was never under 86 (start 94) and at the end of 6 turns it was at 88 whereas the Allied bombers were down to 67.

/MM





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< Message edited by MagicMissile -- 10/19/2020 10:33:17 AM >

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 12:03:27 PM   
ago1000


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I've also noticed that the attacks impact the strength of interceptors on full support mode more so than on mission mode. So air to air combat is where you are getting an impact on the strength of the unit and effectiveness. Makes sense because they can only intercept twice in your turn.(so bombers against interceptors should result in the Allied bombers getting mauled unless the American interceptors counter-intercepted) Conclusion: If you want to inflict strength damage, you have to get the enemy planes in the air.

On the ground and in mission mode the interceptors will only lose strength on the first attack (1 or 2 or 3). Every subsequent attack has diminishing returns and will impact effectiveness only where the attacker can lose strength(average amount) and will lose effectiveness on each attack. You will find that the strength loss ratio of attacker to defender increases as you perform more attacks. (On 15 attacks on 1 interceptor(in mission mode), my loses were 11:1 in strength) Two attacks on the interceptor(mission mode) reduced effectiveness to about 75%-80%. On 15 attacks effectiveness was reduced to approximately 41-55% on my tests.

I'm in agreement with you MM, it's by design and am glad I have a better understanding of it.

Thanks Alvaro too for your response.


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 12:14:40 PM   
malkarma

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower

I recommend James Holland's recent book on the BofB



I will have to take a look at it.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 12:18:59 PM   
MagicMissile


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I also made another test 15 airunits 30 attacks pounced on a fighter in mission mode. Losses 3 german 7 allied and German air unit down to 41% so one can if one have the resources put a unit out of action in one turn but it will drain a lot of resources.

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 12:28:35 PM   
ago1000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MagicMissile

I also made another test 15 airunits 30 attacks pounced on a fighter in mission mode. Losses 3 german 7 allied and German air unit down to 41% so one can if one have the resources put a unit out of action in one turn but it will drain a lot of resources.

/MM

I also noticed that the defender's losses only occur on the first turn and the attacker can lose 0,1,rarely 2 on each attack. Can you confirm this?

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 1:31:59 PM   
MagicMissile


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Yes I can. Only the first strike will inflict damage and the attacking units can take 0-2 losses. Since I am attacking 1944 interceptors in the 44 campaign they have 2 aa factors so I guess attacking earlier tech planes the aa losses will be smaller.

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 1:48:59 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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So does this mean everyone gets it or it doesn't make sense?

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 2:18:57 PM   
ago1000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AlvaroSousa

So does this mean everyone gets it or it doesn't make sense?

It makes perfect sense and now we also get it. Thanks.
Since I don't get to normally see the other side, the impact of your attacks by the reports are frustrating that's all. It's all good.

Now what I don't understand is this image appearing (my last post) when using Unity RichText:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4896831





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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/19/2020 9:40:03 PM   
MorningDew

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ago1000


quote:

ORIGINAL: MagicMissile

I also made another test 15 airunits 30 attacks pounced on a fighter in mission mode. Losses 3 german 7 allied and German air unit down to 41% so one can if one have the resources put a unit out of action in one turn but it will drain a lot of resources.

/MM

I also noticed that the defender's losses only occur on the first turn and the attacker can lose 0,1,rarely 2 on each attack. Can you confirm this?


That feels wrong. I would think there is a chance for losses every turn.


< Message edited by MorningDew -- 10/19/2020 9:55:18 PM >


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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/20/2020 7:21:10 PM   
MagicMissile


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Yes bombing airbases knowing you will likely take more losses and lose more effectiveness feels a bit so so but could be useful occasionally but I dont see bombing airbases as something Ill do very much .

/MM




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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/21/2020 6:17:17 AM   
battlevonwar


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I have noticed some of the options like bombing an airbase is usually not that wise also. A good deal of the air missions are better not done if you can help it. Even engaging in air superiority is not usually cause you burn up your effectiveness and I don't think defense offers any bonus? It should! Fighters fight much better from their home territory if they have tech, numbers, at least some effectiveness, radar, spotters, etc... i.e. Battle of Britain

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/21/2020 2:25:00 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Air sups do fight better in home territory slightly. They use 50% as much oil also.

If we make airfield bombing a net positive then the Axis will simply wipe out the Soviet airforces all the time.
The Allies will wipe out the Axis air forces all the time.

There is a balance of course and I am looking into that and testing. It can't be too heavy on one side or another.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/21/2020 3:20:36 PM   
MagicMissile


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AlvaroSousa

There is a balance of course and I am looking into that and testing. It can't be too heavy on one side or another.


Absolutely I agree one has to be careful . But I am thinking that generally you can withdraw your bases out of reach of the attackers figters and then the attacker can fly unescorted and bomb your bases and hopefully the defender have his fighters on intercept and the end result should not be so good for the attacker.

What I do find a bit odd is my example above. I can put 3 fighters in northern France in the teeth of the might of 1944 allied airforce and they can basically not get hurt and not only that they will most likely inflict more losses just sitting on the ground. Just stay in mission mode and sleep in the allied turn and then in your turn if you want to they suddenly spring to action mostly unhurt. Here I think maybe something should be done. I think possibly not any higher losses necessarily. As you said it is not all about the planes there is also the pilots. But maybe higher effectiveness losses? If bases gets bombed pilots dont sleep, repairshops gets destroyed infrastructure of various kinds breaks down.

I do think if you have a vastly superior airforce you should be able to supress the enemy airforce and effectiveness losses might achieve that. So there will be a tradeoff attacker might take bigger losses but the defender loses more effectiveness. As it is now the attacker take more losses and suffers more effectiveness losses. To me that makes airbase bombing almost useless except under very special circumstances maybe.

But yes these things might snowball things so one has to be careful but maybe an idea to think about .

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/21/2020 4:24:04 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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Seems there should be a way for Allies in 43/44 to recreate their ability to sweep the Germans from the skies. Likewise for the Germans to attempt to win the Battle of Britain in the air in 40.

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/21/2020 4:47:38 PM   
MagicMissile


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Exactly my point

/MM

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RE: Air superiority campaign - 10/22/2020 2:52:38 AM   
AlvaroSousa


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If you can't get air superiority in 1943/1944 you aren't building enough air units.

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- Brute Force (mod)
- Assault on Communism
- Assault on Democracy

Designer of the Strategic Command 3 products
- Map Image Importer

(in reply to MagicMissile)
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