Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

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Musikka
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Musikka »

For me trying out this kind of ahistorical stuff is big part of enjoyment I get out of playing games like WitW, for history lessons I can watch documents or read books :)

On the other hand, for the most part WitW seems to reflect difficulties faced by allies pretty damn well. After playing WitW I have a better understanding why war in Europe went as it did.


David Chandler
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by David Chandler »

I was thinking about this topic all morning (hey, there's seven feet of snow in the yard here in Massachusetts) and one of the things I was idly considering (in a very abstract way, as if I have any influence on anything or anyone) was penalties or prohibitions for assigning a nationality to another country's organization (e.g. US P-47 groups to Bomber Command) when I remembered something which has nagged at me since I bought WITW. This might not be the appropriate thread but does anyone know why the game omits the Twelfth Air Force? This was the US Mediterranean equivalent of the 9th AF, as I'm sure everyone here knows. Instead all the tactical air in the Med theater is lumped together in the multi-national Tactical AF. By the way, this causes problems when you invade Southern France, as you need to duplicate tactical Air Directives, e.g. one Ground Attack AD for the Riviera and another for the Italian mainland. If you have limited AD's in the TacAF, this can be a strain. To vaguely tie this into the current thread I will point out that this precedent tends to argue against my very-hesitant proposal that some sort of mechanism be used to keep the several air forces uni-national.
It's been over ten years since I've played Bombing The Reich but I seem to recall that you couldn't place US fighter groups into an RAF org, or vice versa. I could be wrong on this. And that worked fine. On the other hand, I enjoy WITW as it is, and am happy with no changes. Ground rules work fine with me if I ever play HTH again.
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Smirfy »

It's not a matter of penalising anyone for playing ahistorical its stopping impossible gambits. The 8th bombing at night is ludicrous its science fiction. I feel the first expansion should be of a political, leadership and intelligence nature to reflect "reality" You don't invade in 44 it's Japan first, you don't wipe out your targets as the 8th Ernie King gets new Carriers, no time to be teaching thousands of pilots to fly at night when there were inter service rivalries not to mention international ones.
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by David Chandler »

Regarding the German player being ahistorical in not having to follow Hitler's orders, there is a difference between restricting implausible or impossible behaviors and forcing a player to favor certain legal strategies over other legal strategies. In any war game the player is assuming the role of a particular commander, be it Lee or Napoleon or Alexander the Great, or (in tactical games) some nameless company commander. In WITW you are assuming the role of either, basically, Eisenhower's HQ or OKW. You should be able to make the decisions plausible and appropriate for that level (when to evacuate Normandy, for example) but not necessarily outside that level (to send USMC divisions to Europe, for example, or -more to the point- transfer the USAAF P-51 groups to Bomber Command).
As bad as Hitler's decisions often were, I have to admit his penchant for setting up the French ports as fortresses have caused me a major headache in WITW. When the Allies break out in the early summer of 1944 they have few enough divisions as it is; having to fight for the ports ties up valuable units that should be steaming hell-for-leather for Germany, at the expense of a few low-grade infantry units. Although I did somehow catch the Frundsberg SS-panzer division in one of the Biscay ports.
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Chuske
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Chuske »

I think we are likely to be here for a long time if we end up discussing what level of command the player is and what he can and can't do and I think no two players would ever exactly agree. This thread was started by Nico to discuss his experiments with bomber command, so any prolonged discussion of historical vs what-ifs or the missing 12th AF might be better in its own thread?

Personally I agree with dereck that all you need to do is look for opponents who are happy to play as you suggest, then you don't have a problem and those that want to play what-ifs can separately from you also agree to do so. That way everyone gets what they want, if we start having too many restrictions the game loses the options many like dereck and musikka want to play with, so by adopting house rules and avoiding those players that don't want to play your way I really don't see the problem.

If it still troubles you though starting a new thread to debate it is better than discussing in Nico's BC experiment thread.

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HMSWarspite
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by HMSWarspite »

I agree that one can always have house rules. However, it seems illogical to model the number of jeeps in the 253rd assault bottlewashers division and then design something completely ahistorical. Hitler could at the drop of a hat change the defences of northern France. No one could make BC a second 8th AF in less than months of effort, complete stand down and much cost/effort. So what? House rule I hear. If it works to use BC like this it will probably be a game wrecker: assuming the game is sort of balanced as is, a major increase in bombing effectiveness must help the allies. Then the 'no house rules' ultimate gamers will complain the game is unbalanced. There will be calls for BC to be nerfed. If it is NERFED by day, this solves all our problems and should be done as soon as we agree they are too effective by day. If the nerfing is bodged we get in to a spiral of fiddles. I just say that BC shouldn't be much more effective by day than by night. We need this nipped in the bud before we have WitE again...

I am waiting the next patch with interest to see what better NF do to BC. Used badly I want 10% losses to be possible. But I also want them in late 44 to be able to do Schweinfurt properly, as they did.

Oh, and no one says they can't bomb by day. It is just they only did it by exception, so presumably the benefit, or at least cost:benefit was marginal... Harris was difficult, and insubordinate he wasn't stupid. He wanted to flatten cities and would have done it by day if it was more effective whilst affordable! Separate day and night experience is the ideal solution, but night combat mechanics for BC even in day might help (model a stream not a box)
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decourcy2
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by decourcy2 »

Shoot Warspite, I am planning a mod that includes the Sherman brothels, the Sherman laundries, etc in a unit and it gives a fatigue recovery bonus to nearby allied units. [8D]
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Chuske
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Chuske »

HMSWarspite I highlighted a few days ago in the testers area the suggestions you, DavidChandler and smirfy made so the devs are aware of your opinions and this thread including the idea of having separate day/night training or experience. Obviously it's for the devs to decide if they can/want to change this and not for me to say.

The Hitler comment I made seems to have been misunderstood. My point is this if we quite reasonably allow the Axis to have the player be a Hitler that is at least sensible in his military decisions then why do we have to assume that the Allied player is limited by Bomber Harris? You can replace Bomber Harris in game at cost of admin points. I do agree though the BC bombing by day seems too effective currently, especially vs manpower.

The 8th AF bombing by night is less of an issue as they don't have any of the navigation aids (H2S/Oboe etc) that only BC aircraft have modelled in game. This means 8th AF are never going to be effective night bombers but maybe they are too effective vs axis NFs?

It's now down to the devs to decide if they change anything or not, hope it helps you to know they know your thoughts.
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by HMSWarspite »

My point wasn't that Harris was the issue. My only point about Harris is he was't stupid and would have bombed by day if it worked. My Point is BC couldn't have converted to 8th AF tactics in less than months of effort so it shouldn't be possible in game in less than months. I think someone else mentioned Harris's legendary insubordination and stubbornness.

Hitler could change his mind to use any of the Wehrmacht capabilities in 24 hours (like retreat for hopeless positions!). Harris could fly by day by just ordering it, but what you then get is a night bomber force flying by day...
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Chuske
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Chuske »

What is your evidence that BC would need months to convert to day role?

For me the fact that BC did mount occasional day raids particularly in 44 and 45 (eg Operation Hurricane) does make me wonder why you think they would need months to convert to a role they already did do from time to time?

The game already models the bigger losses vs LW day fighters, so the player can try as above to bomb by day and take a huge losses, I agree that the BC day bombing results seem far too effective by day and that ideally it would be better if they were tweaked down.


Nico what has happened to your screenshots?
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by HMSWarspite »

You need to read up how they bombed by day. Usually (except for Tallboy/Grand Slam special missions) in marginal weather, flown as a stream (not boxes or close formations), with master bombers and pathfinder markers. In other words they flew night raids with the lights on! One of the few changes I believe they did make was to find a marker that showed up better by day. In cloudy conditions they blind bombed on sky markers and could be better than 8AF in similar conditions.

Even when the LW was effectively gone by day but the NF force was still about they tended to bomb by night most often...

One issue that might be an issue, is that people a) dont know what damage BC is doing by night (FOW?), and b) do not know what 'good' damage looks like. A large factory might be 50 acres and to inflinct say 80% damage on such a site in one raid is plausible. 50 acres is a rather small town, probably sub 1 manpower... big towns are square miles. Also, machine tools cant take cover, people do. Thus I count 2% Manpower damage to a big city as a success, and double figures as very good. The occasional 60% result (assuming not FOW) is a real boost). If you fly BC sustainabily, I do not think 1-2% Manpower every week as useless.

Now, that is based on what I see, and I havent dont a check to see whether 100 turns of that (with the bonus biggy or two every couple of months) is hurting the GE. I do get the odd factory damaged as well (another bonus)
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Ralzakark
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Ralzakark »

Bomber Command often bombed by day in 1944-45. The figures for sorties by year are:

1944 - by day – 113,352 by night – 35,096
1945 - by day – 44,074 by night – 20,664

Daylight bombing other than specialist operations only resumed in June 1944, so the year’s figures tend to mask the sudden and dramatic shift to daylight operations over the summer. Note than in 1945, a period with many short winter days, nearly 1 in every 3 sorties was by day.

Daylight raids tended to be fairly shallow penetrations and have an overwhelming escort of Spitfires, Tempests and occasionally Mustangs. Losses were usually light, no heavier than night operations, though more aircraft were damaged due to flak. There were very few losses to enemy aircraft. The scale of these raids could be huge. Bomber Command sent 805 bombers to Dresden on the night of 13 February 1945, but it sent 1,107 to Dortmund during the day on 12 March.

Night operations had the big advantage they did not need long range escorts (beyond support by intruder Mosquitos) and so could penetrate much further. Additionally, the short days over the winter of 1944-45 reduced the range which bombers could reach during daylight, but increased the distance they could reach at night. Many of the eastern oil targets were hit, and hit effectively, by Bomber Command and not the 8AF for this reason.

The resumption of daylight bombing was done with little preparation. But just as precision night bombing saw spectacular improvements in accuracy in March – May 1944 so daylight bombing saw similar improvements in June – September with 3 Group becoming the specialist G-H daylight blind markers. Volume 3 of the official history devotes a whole chapter to the switch fromnight to day and night bombing and the training and technology needed.
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by HMSWarspite »

"Note than in 1945, a period with many short winter days, nearly 1 in every 3 sorties was by day"
"Daylight raids tended to be fairly shallow penetrations"
"...with 3 Group becoming the specialist G-H daylight blind markers. Volume 3 of the official history devotes a whole chapter to the switch from night to day and night bombing and the training and technology needed."

Even in 1945, BC (a force that was quite happy taking off and landing in the dark so short days are not relevant), still did 2/3 sorties at night. Their main deep raids stayed in the dark. And they needed to set up a day marking force...
All I am arguing is that BC should not be able to be switched to daylight in mid 1943 and be another 8AF. The only real fix is separate day and night experience, but I am open to other methods if that is not possible.

If the heavy bomber force becomes much more effective when BC fly by day, I foresee game balance issues and heavy bomber daylight nerfing... That would be a sad day...
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Ralzakark
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by Ralzakark »

Bomber streams during the day were much more compact than at night, with aircraft closely following designated lead aircraft, so I expect that they had to take off and form up during daylight. The same would presumably not apply to landing, but I do not have sources with that level of detail to hand.

I quite agree Warspite1 that Bomber Command should not be able to become a second 8AF. Its daylight operations were of a very different character. One of the reasons for the huge number of escorts required was that aircraft straggled badly as formation flying was quite alien to Bomber Command’s pilots. And without a dedicated fighter arm Bomber Command relied on 2TAF to divert aircraft for the job.

However I disagree that the heavy bomber force should not become more effective when Bomber Command can fly by day, because historically that is exactly what happened.

How this is handled in the game is another matter. I do not think the game engine allows for any ‘soft’ factors such as training, doctrine or formation flying other than by the single experience rating so some fudging may be necessary.
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RE: Some testing with bomber command / NF (1.00.13)

Post by HMSWarspite »

I meant in 1943. I have seen AARs where BC just bomb by day from early on.
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