Air Exploit?

Gary Grigsby’s War in the East: The German-Soviet War 1941-1945 is a turn-based World War II strategy game stretching across the entire Eastern Front. Gamers can engage in an epic campaign, including division-sized battles with realistic and historical terrain, weather, orders of battle, logistics and combat results.

The critically and fan-acclaimed Eastern Front mega-game Gary Grigsby’s War in the East just got bigger and better with Gary Grigsby’s War in the East: Don to the Danube! This expansion to the award-winning War in the East comes with a wide array of later war scenarios ranging from short but intense 6 turn bouts like the Battle for Kharkov (1942) to immense 37-turn engagements taking place across multiple nations like Drama on the Danube (Summer 1944 – Spring 1945).

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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Mehring »

The simple technique for prolonging Luftwaffe air superiority or parity with the VVS is to keep bombing the VVS. The Luftwaffe's inability to obtain a decent loss ratio or find Russian airbases are the arguments of people who haven't found a way to do this or even to follow tried and tested and often proffered advice.

Is it unrealistic that the Luftwaffe should have to bomb Russian bases in order to protect their own? Apparently yes, but then it's also unrealistic that a Luftwaffe engaged in intensive tactical support should maintain as many air worthy planes as it does, when not bombed. Nobody would argue that base bombing is the historical way the air war was fought out in 41-42 but there is a certain balance of gameyness which will have to make do until the air game is set straight.

Until the air model is sorted, bomb for victory!
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by arras »

Is it really exploit if player engages in unhistorical tactics and ends up with unhistorical results?

How about changing Axis tactics instead of complaining that Soviet player is not restricted to play it the dumb, historical way..?

I would say that problem lies elsewhere. Is impact of air support on ground combat so insignificant that player can spend all his air sorties bombing enemy airfields and not protecting/supporting his units? ...that is valid for both sides of course. I am not suggesting I know the answer, I am just asking.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Peltonx »

HQ build-up was and exploit and Russian players cried a river. It had nothing to do with Russains players using different tactics.

Same goes for the air exploit and the 1v1 = 2v1 attacks for Russians on the ground, a change of tactics is not an answer. A change in the rules is.

Its generally the rule: What works in closed beta never works when a game goes public.

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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by heliodorus04 »

ORIGINAL: Pelton

HQ build-up was and exploit and Russian players cried a river. It had nothing to do with Russains players using different tactics.
+1 QFT pwnage.

I agree with many people's points here. The air war is an a-historic mess that reflects World War 2 air doctrines, strategy, and tactics in no way at all. It's a completely different strategy game within the game.

Since I never played WitP AE, I'm curious how that game's air war compares. If it worked there, why doesn't it here?
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by ComradeP »

The Luftwaffe's inability to obtain a decent loss ratio or find Russian airbases are the arguments of people who haven't found a way to do this or even to follow tried and tested and often proffered advice.

OK, so how many Soviet planes do you destroy through bombing each turn? Over 300? Because that's what you need just to cope with production and actually reduce VVS aircraft strength.

The Soviets have plenty of air bases in general, and there's no need for them to gather large amounts of aircraft at a single air base.

Against a smart Soviet opponent who doesn't have much more than 100, if that, aircraft at his air bases, getting a favourable loss ratio that will also reduce VVS aircraft strength is rather difficult. On most turns in my vs. AI games, the Soviets do more damage to themselves through training missions than I can do through bombing air bases. Of course, that's against the AI, which is not too smart when it comes to dispersing air groups.

Also keep in mind that even slight losses can cause a dent in an air group's morale, and even if you can wrestle with the VVS for a while, if you end up with ~60-70 morale air groups, losses will mount when the Soviets start to get serious about their aircraft production.
Since I never played WitP AE, I'm curious how that game's air war compares. If it worked there, why doesn't it here?

Because it's far more detailed. WitP:AE's focus is on naval and air operations, the ground war is not too detailed. Even then, WitP/WitP:AE's air model also suffered and to a degree suffers from some problems, judging by the AAR's in their respective forums.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by gradenko2k »

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04
Since I never played WitP AE, I'm curious how that game's air war compares. If it worked there, why doesn't it here?
The air war in WITP-AE is a fair bit more accurate there than here, but that also has to do with the scale of the game: Daily turns mean that the system simulates individual planes going out on individual sorties, as opposed to the level of abstraction in WITE where the weekly time frame requires that the system "fudge" a bit on what an air group should be capable of doing.

There are also still a few balance points that long-time/experienced WITP-AE players sometimes take issue with, especially when you push the system to the limits, such as the value of max altitude dives and very very large raids of aircraft.

Having said that, where WITP-AE does well in the air-war, the large amount of abstraction in the ground war*, and the obstuse-ness of the supply system are the ones that tend to cause grumblings in their particular community.

* As with the ground war here in WITE, a lot of it is caused by the players not being beholden to the precise manner of the calculations involved. While I certainly understand why Mr. Grigsby prefers it to be this way, I personally disagree with his stance on it, even though I play his games like a fiend all the same.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Mehring »

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
The Luftwaffe's inability to obtain a decent loss ratio or find Russian airbases are the arguments of people who haven't found a way to do this or even to follow tried and tested and often proffered advice.

OK, so how many Soviet planes do you destroy through bombing each turn? Over 300? Because that's what you need just to cope with production and actually reduce VVS aircraft strength.

The Soviets have plenty of air bases in general, and there's no need for them to gather large amounts of aircraft at a single air base.

Against a smart Soviet opponent who doesn't have much more than 100, if that, aircraft at his air bases, getting a favourable loss ratio that will also reduce VVS aircraft strength is rather difficult. On most turns in my vs. AI games, the Soviets do more damage to themselves through training missions than I can do through bombing air bases. Of course, that's against the AI, which is not too smart when it comes to dispersing air groups.

Also keep in mind that even slight losses can cause a dent in an air group's morale, and even if you can wrestle with the VVS for a while, if you end up with ~60-70 morale air groups, losses will mount when the Soviets start to get serious about their aircraft production.


If the Russians don't pack their air bases, as the SAD bases are disbanded, they will ultimately be unable to deploy their airforce.

Here's a screenie from T49, the last turn I recorded playing axis in pbem-



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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Sabre21 »

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04

ORIGINAL: Sabre21

I try to always stack my airbases with ground units that are in light wooded or city hexes. It makes it pretty tough to find them. If your opponent can't detect them, they can't be bombed. At least if they do attack the ground unit will provide AA support.

Doesn't this fall apart immediately if your opponent decides to look at the map in "Bomb Airfield" mode? Then they're magically highlighted in red, assuming he has done reasonable recon earlier in the turn.

The recon is what is needed. Undetected airbases don't get highlighted. I try and eliminate as many recon assets as possible when I find them, but that gets more difficult as the war progresses. Right now even a few recon aircraft can detect most airbases. There is some discussion on the tester forum about FoW with some changes coming in the near future for us to look at.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Great_Ajax »

The problem here is that the Germans fighters up to 1943 were able to knock down Soviet planes at will WHEN they were available. These Soviet attacks on airfields, while occasionally successful, should be taking horrendous losses if they are being intercepted by German fighters. The main problem I see in the game which I have expressed in detail in the tester forum is that neither player can mass his air forces like they can with the ground forces at decisive points on the battlefield. The result is that the air power potential is diluted by the AI choosing what air battles to get involved in. There is a whole new game that could be played with an overhaul in the air model. The interesting thing about the air battles that is completely not reflected here is that the German air supremacy could not be everywhere and the Soviets could and did gain local air supremacy from the near beginning of Barbarossa. The Soviet Air Force in 1941, even with its horrendous losses, played a decisive role in delaying some German advances and almost all of the local counterattacks. Air supremacy on both sides played a vital role in the morale of the ground troops throughout the campaign and really every campaign and operation since WW2. It would be a huge undertaking to get it right but it would add a very decisive element to the game.

Trey

ORIGINAL: Mehring

The simple technique for prolonging Luftwaffe air superiority or parity with the VVS is to keep bombing the VVS. The Luftwaffe's inability to obtain a decent loss ratio or find Russian airbases are the arguments of people who haven't found a way to do this or even to follow tried and tested and often proffered advice.

Is it unrealistic that the Luftwaffe should have to bomb Russian bases in order to protect their own? Apparently yes, but then it's also unrealistic that a Luftwaffe engaged in intensive tactical support should maintain as many air worthy planes as it does, when not bombed. Nobody would argue that base bombing is the historical way the air war was fought out in 41-42 but there is a certain balance of gameyness which will have to make do until the air game is set straight.

Until the air model is sorted, bomb for victory!
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by arras »

ORIGINAL: Pelton

HQ build-up was and exploit and Russian players cried a river. It had nothing to do with Russains players using different tactics.

Same goes for the air exploit and the 1v1 = 2v1 attacks for Russians on the ground, a change of tactics is not an answer. A change in the rules is.

Its generally the rule: What works in closed beta never works when a game goes public.

Pelton
I will immediately drop my case as soon as you show me which rule exception or "special" ability causes so called "air exploit".

So far I do not know one. Same mechanics apply for Axis and Soviet side. Soviets do not get magical bonus on airbase attack, do they?

Then somebody should explain me, why concentrated effort of Soviet player to bomb axis airfields, especially fighter airfields should have no effect on ability of Axis player to wage air war. Because to me it seems perfectly valid and logical.

What would be logical for axis players to do in this case seems to me to ask developers logical question, why they can not adjust their production to match their strategy and that of their opponent?
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Ketza »

ORIGINAL: arras
ORIGINAL: Pelton

HQ build-up was and exploit and Russian players cried a river. It had nothing to do with Russains players using different tactics.

Same goes for the air exploit and the 1v1 = 2v1 attacks for Russians on the ground, a change of tactics is not an answer. A change in the rules is.

Its generally the rule: What works in closed beta never works when a game goes public.

Pelton
I will immediately drop my case as soon as you show me which rule exception or "special" ability causes so called "air exploit".

So far I do not know one. Same mechanics apply for Axis and Soviet side. Soviets do not get magical bonus on airbase attack, do they?

Then somebody should explain me, why concentrated effort of Soviet player to bomb axis airfields, especially fighter airfields should have no effect on ability of Axis player to wage air war. Because to me it seems perfectly valid and logical.

What would be logical for axis players to do in this case seems to me to ask developers logical question, why they can not adjust their production to match their strategy and that of their opponent?

I think the fact that this type of mechanic benefits the side with the most airframes makes it appear "unfair".

As the Axis you have to realize at some point you are not going to have air superiority everywhere and have to develop tactics to try and stop this type of attrition or at least make it painfull. You also have to choose where you are going to fight and concentrate. Things I have found that help:

1) Someone mentioned this but base your Luftwaffe as far as practical from the front so the bi planes cannot even reach you.

2) Stack your airbases and utilize flak and HQS as well as keep bases clusters close together.

3) Set fighter intercept very high.

4) Make sure as much stuff "flies" as possible set your minimum to 5 or 10%.

5) Rotate out beat up units with a lot of damaged planes.

6) RECON RECON RECON Attack Soviet bases as often as practical when you see build ups of bombers.

7) Use your satellite airforces to aggresively early to help whittle down Soviet airframes as well as build their own experience.


Now one thing that would be helpful for both sides would be a "cap X airbase" command to guarantee a certain amount of cap over the airfields instead of fighters being soaked up in other missions and not protecting their homes.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by ComradeP »

If the Russians don't pack their air bases, as the SAD bases are disbanded, they will ultimately be unable to deploy their airforce.

Here's a screenie from T49, the last turn I recorded playing axis in pbem-

There is no need for the Soviets to deploy their entire air force at the front at all times. They could do so, but there are times when it might not be wise.

Looking at those Soviet losses, the initial pool (6582 aircraft)+production up to that point covers around 20.000-21.000 of those losses.

Considering the losses the Soviets take through training accidents, the average amount of aircraft lost per turn due to air base displacements, air base bombing and regular air combat is only about 200-250 per turn, which is not particularly high, and it's only about 100-150 on average for turn 2 to 49 when we remove the likely first turn losses.

Also keep in mind that you're losing some of the best pilots and aircraft you'll get, but you're destroying rubbish to mediocre aircraft with mediocre pilots.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Mehring »

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
If the Russians don't pack their air bases, as the SAD bases are disbanded, they will ultimately be unable to deploy their airforce.

Here's a screenie from T49, the last turn I recorded playing axis in pbem-

There is no need for the Soviets to deploy their entire air force at the front at all times. They could do so, but there are times when it might not be wise.

Indeed, it could get bombed to pieces. If not deployed, the Axis maintain air superiority. Axis result.
ORIGINAL: ComradeP Looking at those Soviet losses, the initial pool (6582 aircraft)+production up to that point covers around 20.000-21.000 of those losses.

Considering the losses the Soviets take through training accidents, the average amount of aircraft lost per turn due to air base displacements, air base bombing and regular air combat is only about 200-250 per turn, which is not particularly high, and it's only about 100-150 on average for turn 2 to 49 when we remove the likely first turn losses.

After T7 there wasn't much left to bomb as I recall, and the losses I could inflict did decline. Also AA seemed to get heavier so I became more choosey about targets. In the meantime, the Axis had complete air superiority. Axis result.

If the Russian training losses in the exampled game are anything like my training losses playing Russian (70-90 per turn) the average roughly 410 planes lost per turn in the exampled game would leave about 320 lost through bombing and other combat. Wasn't that within your success threshold? I suspect the Russians in this game lost more in training for the reason below, but in any case, I don't care particularly how the Russians lose them, as long as they're lost.

Doesn't the amount of planes lost in training (and combat) relate to the experience of the air units? Bombing Russian air units has the colateral of weakening them in combat and, I assume that low experience contributes to high training and combat losses.

High losses in various situations become a function of airfield bombing and other combat which reduces the Russian air units' experience. Axis result!

Whatever, though by the end of the exampled game the Russian units were kitted out with new fighters, they got slaughtered whenever they sortied so I assume they were very low in experience.
ORIGINAL: ComradePAlso keep in mind that you're losing some of the best pilots and aircraft you'll get, but you're destroying rubbish to mediocre aircraft with mediocre pilots.

I see your really a glass half empty guy. My pilots were gaining an enormous amount of experience and high morale because enough survived their many missions. At the same time, Russian units that might have been gaining experience and morale were instead being bombed back to the stone age. The only Axis exception were the tactical bombers which I didn't use to bomb airfields anyway. These I frequently recycled to reserve.

As for the fleets of IL-4s, DB-3Bs, Pe-2s etc etc, they ain't rubbish at all when handled well. Even the MiG-3s and Yak 1s do a good job when handled well, and if T-16s get the fortune to intercept unescorted Axis bombers... they all do a job in the right situation though the Russian has to accept heavy losses.


My Russian opponent in the exampled game did not explore the possibilities for his air force. Though I'd assumed the counter-measures put forward by Ketza, I never had to employ them. In my current Russian game, by summer 42, my German opponent with his depleted Luftwaffe, has just recently woken up to counter-bombing my airfields so I'm for the first time on the receiving end of my own tactics. He has concentrated in 2 sectors and more or less driven the VVS out of one.

Many people have pronounced on the air war issue without exploring possibilities offered by the game or adapting tactics to changed situations. Premature conclusions are generally mistaken.

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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by WarHunter »

Let me see if what I'm reading is being interrupted correctly. Version 1.03 up to the latest 1.04beta.

The axis player needs to bomb Red Air force bases to win the air war.

The soviet player needs to bomb axis airbases to win the air war.

Interdiction is the best ground attack method.

Air to Ground Attack helps soften up a target, but is hard to decipher how much good it does.

City bombing has changed alot between 1.03 and current beta.

The axis player has no way to help his allies with aircraft upgrades.

Anything to add?
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by herwin »

ORIGINAL: WarHunter

The axis player has no way to help his allies with aircraft upgrades.

Well, in reality Germany did provide lots of airframes to its allies.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by WarHunter »

As far as the game is concerned.
The player has no way to increase or decrease airframes to Finland, Hungary, Italy or Rumania. It is all up to the AI. 
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by randallw »

The rate of training losses, in the latest patch, are supposed to be higher than before. 

Other than missing that I believe you have 'interrupted' correctly. [:D]
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by Mehring »

ORIGINAL: el hefe

The problem here is that the Germans fighters up to 1943 were able to knock down Soviet planes at will WHEN they were available. These Soviet attacks on airfields, while occasionally successful, should be taking horrendous losses if they are being intercepted by German fighters. The main problem I see in the game which I have expressed in detail in the tester forum is that neither player can mass his air forces like they can with the ground forces at decisive points on the battlefield. The result is that the air power potential is diluted by the AI choosing what air battles to get involved in. There is a whole new game that could be played with an overhaul in the air model. The interesting thing about the air battles that is completely not reflected here is that the German air supremacy could not be everywhere and the Soviets could and did gain local air supremacy from the near beginning of Barbarossa. The Soviet Air Force in 1941, even with its horrendous losses, played a decisive role in delaying some German advances and almost all of the local counterattacks. Air supremacy on both sides played a vital role in the morale of the ground troops throughout the campaign and really every campaign and operation since WW2. It would be a huge undertaking to get it right but it would add a very decisive element to the game.

Trey
Fighters have a limited ammo stowage. The most effective rounds available to most German fighters of 41-42, 20mm cannon, were carried in very limited quantities in single engine fighters. This caps the number of kills even the greatest plane and pilot can make per sortie. I'm not sure how many constitutes 'horrendous' but if they were found not to be, I would suggest either or all of

- providing a fighter scramble bonus from a targetted airfield
- enabling interception of a raid along its entire course, out and inward bound
- enabling interceptors to prioritise bombers as targets
- enabling pilot survival from destroyed planes and decreaing the survival rate for sorties over enemy territory.

That said, the ability of the Russians to effectively bomb German airfields is counteracting the unrealistically high number of servicable German aircraft. Addressing one issue without the other will seriously unbalance the game.

I don't agree that neither player can concentrate their air power, nor that the Russians can't gain local or even general air superiority. While the latter just doesn't agree with my experience, airfields can travel far and fast and and reassign to new HQs. Air groups can transfer to new fields too. It is awkward though, and I regard this as a good feature of the game. I hate games where airpower gravitates towards killer stacks which stalk each other round a map, one seeking the 'final air battle', the other seeking to avoid it. I'm sometimes bewildered though, by some of the AI's choices, and I try to write the AI out of the script as far as possible.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by JAMiAM »

ORIGINAL: WarHunter

Interdiction is the best ground attack method.
I would dispute this one, but the rest of your post about sums it up.
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RE: Air Exploit?

Post by WarHunter »

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

ORIGINAL: WarHunter

Interdiction is the best ground attack method.
I would dispute this one, but the rest of your post about sums it up.

Interdiction leaves a lot of control out of the players hands. So it may not really be the best bang for the buck because of the randomness. But it does pay when it bleeds mp's off the moving units.

Hasty and deliberate attacks where the player can toggle on/off the air power is probably the most effective way to inflict casualties.

Both are good and lately i tend to like interdiction, but its not doctrine set in stone.

Unfortunately, this conflicts with bombing airbases. Which makes me sad.
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