The new neutered “Medium Bombers” as I call them are now MUCH less useful, and in several games where I and/or my opponent has rolled them in the game, we have not even built one! In one game, I rolled Medium Bombers for Japan in Round 1, and I still haven’t built one yet! This weakening of this tech has now caused a restructuring of the most desirable Chart 2 techs, which overall in my opinion are as follws:
1) Long Range Aircraft - For all nations, this is pretty much the best Chart 2 tech now.
I agree. Medium (neutered heavies) bombers suck. Even before they were officially neutered (rulebook left them ambiguous - just said roll 2 dice for each bomber) LRA was the best tech in most cases.
When not in league play, I usually play +1 range for LRA instead of +2. I like it much, much better as do those I play with. +1 still adds PLENTY of options, and still presents a pretty good threat/surprise factor. +2 is over the top and can “ruin” a game sometimes.
I just finished up a game where I had 3 American bombers that would be joining a large naval showdown in Z62 against the Jap fleet. I rolled heavy bombers right before the attack, and figured my odds would be much higher. Well, 2 bombers hit twice, and one bomber missed twice. Result - 2 hits. Result without “heavy bombers” - 2 hits.
Increased production, radar, and improved shipyards all help to negate opponents’ heavy bombers.
As you can see on Lema’s graphs, the 2010 FAQ knocked SBR damage down to an average of 4.5 and a maximum of 6. “Neutered” might actually be putting it mildly. If the opponent has radar or increased production, you’re only doing as much damage as you risk suffering on average, when you have heavy freaking bombers. As Lema said - underpowered.
However, I think 2 hit heavies are a bit overpowered. I like 1d6 + 2 for SBR - not sure about conventional attacks…. Still leaning toward 2 hit heavies hitting on a “4”. Will have to try some variations for non-league play to see what I like.