Strategic Bombing in warplan has troubled me for quite a long while since i first played this game in 1.003.
The problem is, Even there is no any interceptors, bombing the cities is still a bad deal. with only AA defense like 2 level, could sometimes cause a 1 or 2 damage to bombers. let's make a calculation:
Tactical Bomber price 300, each strength cost 15.
Strategic Bomber proce 400, each strength cost 20.
as the manual did not give a formula about how AA ratings shot down aircrafts, i made a experiment using 3 Tactical Bombers of 1939 from UK and France, didnot develop it higher; removed GER's air unit. Let these 3 Bomber unit bomb empty GER citys with no interceptor, and no unit in hex, only 2 AA ratings(which all GER cities have).
the result is, in 50 tries (mostly clear weather), 2AA rating cities shot down 23 bombers, while most trying deal 1 damage to city itself.(there were 1 time dealed 2 damage). which give us a 1/2 chance to lose 1 airplane.
During whole experience, the bombers' effeciency is between 70-100%.(thanks to the heavy rain and snow)
then let's do the math:
Most city got 5 points of industry. assuming we got enough plane at their best perfermence, only targeting this 1 single city to destroy:
since the damage would be maintained at 5, the production points GER lost would be y=5x (x is the time).(actually is 3x, for this game repairs 2points at GER's Turns' beginning, and product at his Turn's ending.)
while the Allies must use 5 bombers to first deal the damage, then use 2 bombers each turn to maintain this damage; that made it's lost being: y= [5+2(x-1)]/2 *15 = 15x+22.5
****, i was thinking on a curve slowly catch up a stright line, to show you need to keep bombing a city for such long time to win back your lost pp. sorry, no, with this damn only 5pp city you never win back your money but lose 3 times you caused damage.
let's change a siuation then:
assuming there were, let's say 10 cities, which happened to be the sites that from France territory, given a 10 hex range (Tactical), that could be bombed.(oil sites not included.)
They are:Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremburg,Prague,Dresden,Leipzig,Cologne,Dusseldorf,Essen and hex 150,61.
4 of them are 5pp,4 are 10pp and 2 are 15pp. for convinence let's assume they are all 10 pp sites. this give's Allies a little advantage as their avarage are actually less. Also, some sites are at the exact extreme range, if Alliance wanna bomb these sites, he have to move his bombers to the very front, adajakent with enemy, which is dangerous and reduce it's efficiency(yes?). That's another advantage. No air unit for Germany, no ground unit helping AA in sites(most unit got a AA rating from 1-2,added to the sites.). here i count the very best advantages that Allies got in this assumption which would never happen. now calculate:
10 cities, 100pps, from the begining they got highest damage, lost pp is:
ohh no. even with this much favorable condition, air bombing is still a hugh failure.By now you may have noticed the regularity:
only when the bombing target's average pp is above 15, the bomber player could have a chance to not lose too much. the number of cities, number of units are not relevent. This result is based on the assumption that AA rating is 2, no inteceptor attended, efficiency high and weather keeps clear.
Then is there any suitable target?
Yes. But only a few. Like Lille( under France control), Paris, London, Berlin.
To be clear, through Strategic bombers did get a higher range allow them to bomb a further target, but their loss rate won't reduce, and it's damage is not improved highly enough to take it seriously practical. And it's more expensive.
Given all those reasons above, a result could be drawn:
in currenr version, Bombing cities is way too risky an operation to execute.
Victory at all costs.