German bomber strategy - How to play and How to counter



  • There’s been a bit of a buzz recently regarding the German strategy of flooding Europe with bombers, most notably championed by dizz and bmnielson (others may use it also, those are just the ones I’ve seen)

    So let’s kick off a discussion about it:

    1. How do you use it effectively?

    2. How do you respond effectively?

    Some may prefer to keep their strategies and such secret, which is fine. For those of us who’d like to share our experience and opinions to make each other better gamers, fire away!


  • 2019 2017

    I would suggest a total KJF since Russia should not fall before round 8 with a good number of purchased bombers, and that should give a lot of time for US to at the very least permanently deny the DEI and potentially stack Philippines.

    A way to increase the effectiveness of the mass German bomber buy is to wait until US has already invested a bit in fleet and transports in the Atlantic before starting to purchase many bombers. This can help Japan out if the US then decide to switch sides, and it also allows Germany to rush for Moscow without buying bombers if the US were already going full Pac. Also, if the US continue to buy in Atlantic to attempt to land in Europe, then Japan should have an easy time getting the 5th VC and heavily threaten the 6th, since a considerable amount of PUs are needed to protect the Atlantic fleet from those German bombers.

    I do however think that in global, aircraft do not cost enough, probably because AA don’t shoot at all attacking planes anymore.


  • 2019 2018 2016 2015

    I agree with Adam on a KJF approach, except I don’t think it’d be feasible for the US to be completely absent from the atlantic (not sure if that’s what he means by “total KJF”). I think without at least some support from US, London could easily fall, which would then leave the allies too close to a VC loss in Europe.

    I think it’d be wise for the US to lend support via fighters, sending them over to London, Gib, and/or Egypt, as the situation requires. Perhaps one or two planes per round…that’d go a long way to helping out in Europe without taking too much away from the KJF. The fighters would also help protect against SBRs.

    In addition to that, having a mid-size stack of ready US transports in Canada aimed at delivering emergency reinforcement to London in case of a looming sea lion, or else just aimed at Gibraltar, might not be a bad idea.

    I think it’d also be good to have at least one destroyer, and a good number of US subs in the atlantic, so as to work with the US planes in preventing axis ships from creeping out of their holes and raiding peripheral territories, such as Brazil, West Indies (to cut US bonus), and so on. The subs could also potentially start convoying.

    Finally, I’d also suggest a couple of bombers on that side as well, to keep the axis from being too free with their transporting, as well as to hit them regularly with SBRs.


  • 2016 2015 '14

    @Adam514:

    I would suggest a total KJF since Russia should not fall before round 8 with a good number of purchased bombers, and that should give a lot of time for US to at the very least permanently deny the DEI and potentially stack Philippines.

    (First of all, part of my idea is to not make a purchase on G1.  This allows for an all-out Sea Lion for those who neglect the UK, so the UK has to respect that and at least pseudo-cover against that potential threat.)

    The key to the bomber strat in my opinion (bmnielson schooled me on it when i played as Allies, so he is probably the better one to ask) is to play a very positional Japan.  Put a harbor down in Hainan and get a transport shuck of 3 transports per turn (I usually go 3 inf, 1 art, 1 mech, 1 arm, when I can, but that’s just a matter of taste).  Do not move out of position to do something like take India or even the DEI – pound down China and just keep shucking.  By 2 bombers per turn as well after the first few rounds when you can afford it.  These bombers can be used in support of the German advance towards Egypt after Russia is sacked.

    Of course, if the US goes full Atlantic, well Japan will run wild through the DEI and India and not even have to move “out of position,” – the above is referring to KJF.

    I usually buy 3 to 4 bombers per turn after the first few turns.  My 2nd round purchase has been 8 bombers, and the 3rd round is usually all bombers too, but of course this can be adjusted.  You also need some mechs to absorb the hits as you march towards Russia.  The key is this:  in my stretch of being 5-0 with this bomber strat (I have tried this with the USA with some success, but German bombers are just crazy good due to board relevance), I have taken the UK all 5 games.  Some of them I was marching toward Egypt, but the UK was just easier with all those bombers which can keep the allied navy away as well (dual purpose).

    So, the real question is: how do you keep Germany out of Egypt and ALSO out of the UK?

    Again, one of the keys is the play of Japan.  Make the allies earn the KJF.  But, imho, the ability of German bombers to move 7 spaces from WE is just crazy good – you can hit Gibraltar, the UK, Egypt, and even RUSSIA from there…

    souL mentioned something about critical mass on the league thread.  Yes, that is the real key.  Maybe you could call this strat “make your own heavies” – but I kind of like the name “Welcome to DizzKneeLand” personally…  😄


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    I think for the UK to prevent a later game Sea Lion they would have to purchase an AA gun each turn, until they have at least ten, and an infantry for each German bomber purchased.

    Egypt is much tougher to defend though. Even with an IC and an effective transport schuck from SA you only get six units a turn there. The US can fly fighters to Egypt/UK via an airbase in Gib but that doesn’t help them win the game. Once Russia falls the tanks/mechs start moving to the Mideast and allies can’t get enough units there in time.

    A naval base in Brazil might be on option. That may help the US move ground units around Africa…because they’re not going to be able to move through the med.

    Just some thoughts…there has to be some way for the allies to win against this strategy.


  • 2019 2018 2016 2015

    @DizzKneeLand33:

    @Adam514:

    I would suggest a total KJF since Russia should not fall before round 8 with a good number of purchased bombers, and that should give a lot of time for US to at the very least permanently deny the DEI and potentially stack Philippines.

    So, the real question is: how do you keep Germany out of Egypt and ALSO out of the UK?

    Hey Dizz, regarding defending London from a late sea lion, what do you think about my suggestions (of sending one or two US fighters per turn over to help defend while still doing an aggressive KJF)?


  • 2016 2015 '14

    @axis-dominion:

    Hey Dizz, regarding defending London from a late sea lion, what do you think about my suggestions (of sending one or two US fighters per turn over to help defend while still doing an aggressive KJF)?

    The only problem that I see with that is, are you able to knock Japan out of the Pacific and still send those troops over?  And, will Egypt be weakened too much from the standard German push?

    Sorry to answer a question with a question, but that would be what you have to consider there.  🙂

    Also, remember this.  If you defend the UK with 30 land units, and Germany has 45 bombers, the bombers can clear you off (not counting aa guns) in one turn.

    If you start trying to stack the UK, Germany may just take an opportune moment to clear the UK even without sending in land units, and then send in the land units the next turn, depending on the numbers.  So, none of the ideas you are suggesting seem bad, but things may be more complex than they first appear with regard to defending both the UK and Egypt.

    The key point is that the bombers can hit everything in one turn, whereas you can’t even move a friendly unit between the UK and Egypt in one turn.  That split is what gives the bombers their potential advantage.

    Of course, I was reading another thread here that says that if you can’t win with Allies without a bid that you suck as Allies, so what do I know….  :mrgreen:


  • 2019 2018 2016 2015

    @DizzKneeLand33:

    @Adam514:

    I would suggest a total KJF since Russia should not fall before round 8 with a good number of purchased bombers, and that should give a lot of time for US to at the very least permanently deny the DEI and potentially stack Philippines.

    The key to the bomber strat in my opinion (bmnielson schooled me on it when i played as Allies, so he is probably the better one to ask) is to play a very positional Japan.

    “Always two there are, a master (bmnielsen) and an apprentice (dizz).” –Yoda



  • What would be the best Russian response? My first impression would be to just infantry up and supa-stack Moscow, but is that the best strategy?


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    Russia gets  SBR out of the game…they can’t build hardly anything when they have 20 damage to Moscow every turn. The UK may be able to get some fighters in Moscow to help defend…but I’m not sure that is the best use of the UK’s limited resources.



  • Yeah, with Russia if you’re getting SBR’d badly, you just save your money until you can repair the damage and build 9-10 units there in the same round. Don’t waste your money repairing all that damage just to build a few units (unless Moscow is about to fall, obviously don’t give Germany any free money).


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    that is the best way to do that…but you’re only getting 9-10 units every two rounds…so it doesn’t give you a lot of defense when the attack on Moscow comes.



  • German weakness with a lot of Bombers is not its attack-options, but their defenses.
    They lack ‘boots on the ground’. IIRC, Germany should have problems approaching/staying in Bryansk, because Bombers are very shitty defenders… Let’s say Germany builds 18 Bombers. That’s 72INF they have NOT build.

    With a lot of German Bombers, Egypt should be safe, so a lot of allied FTR should be able to make it to Moscow for intercept duty.
    Why is Egypt safe? Because with a bomber strategy, Italy and Germany typically loose control over the med very quickly so the only land units the axis have in Africa are the initial Italian ones.
    Now Germany can ‘snipe’ Egypt, loosing almost all (if not all) of their Luftwaffe to give Italy a chance to get Egypt, but this is definately not worth it! Without their Luftwaffe and without those 72INF they did not build for Russia because they built Bombers (that are lost as well if they attack Egypt), Russia alone will destroy Germany. Without any help needed from the Wallies at all… Italy then has Egypt but that won’t last long as well.

    My two cents, but I must say it’s a while since I played against a German bomber strategy.


  • 2016 2015 '14

    With all due respect, the one thing that you will not control is the Med, unless you are not sending forces to combat Japan.  Killing allied boats is an activity at which German bombers excel….

    72 infantry move very, VERY slowly.  Building too many German infantry is the reason why my Axis strategy was lacking at the beginning of this season.  If played correctly, the Germans start with enough ground units (plus some additional mech purchases as I stated above) to take and hold Bryansk pretty quickly.  Mech reinforcements from Novo hit the next turn, as well as units from the Ukraine – so, once each of those is held, purchase max fast land units there plus a few more to place in Germany.  You need the fast units to threaten Egypt with speed (the slow units die in Russia).

    It’s not all bombers… it’s just generally 3-4 per turn, depending on the circumstance.

    (a note about the Med: if you go for Taranto, Germany counters with the house – this is usually a better deal than scrambling)

    Ironically, in the game that bmnielsen and I played, I was experimenting with a bid strategy where I gave all the extra units to the Russia front (I think there were 4 in total).  He still blasted through…


  • 2015

    @captain:

    I think for the UK to prevent a later game Sea Lion they would have to purchase an AA gun each turn, until they have at least ten, and an infantry for each German bomber purchased.

    Egypt is much tougher to defend though. Even with an IC and an effective transport schuck from SA you only get six units a turn there. The US can fly fighters to Egypt/UK via an airbase in Gib but that doesn’t help them win the game. Once Russia falls the tanks/mechs start moving to the Mideast and allies can’t get enough units there in time.

    A naval base in Brazil might be on option. That may help the US move ground units around Africa…because they’re not going to be able to move through the med.

    Just some thoughts…there has to be some way for the allies to win against this strategy.

    There doesn’t have to be a way for the allies to defend the strategy, there may be a way, but there doesn’t have to be.  The reason the bomber strategy is so effective is because the Germans have interior lines and most Allied reinforcement (US) has to come by ship.  The bombers prevent reinforcement unless you build a gigantic fleet which means you wasted most of your money just to land a few ground troops that those bombers can vaporize instead.  That’s the other point the bombers can attack everywhere but they only have to attack one place and the Allies can’t build 10 fighters for every place they need to defend.  I doubt KJF works either because Japan starts the game very strong and should be able to hold out long enough for Germany to win the game, even if they collapse in turn 8,9,10 Germany usually has all the VCs it needs besides Egypt and London and has a giant stack of bombers that can hit either one.  Dropping the price of strat bombers has caused this problem, I would like to try a few strategies against it but I honestly doubt they will work.  I think either the price of bombers should be raised or strat bombers should be prohibited from naval combat.



  • I understand that, Dizzknee.

    Allies won’t control the med either, ofc. They just kill all what’s left of Italian ships with their own air as well. Before they are needed in Moscow, RAF is active in the med, making sure no Axis ships are built there.
    Later on joined by submarines (which cannot be attacked by bombers), but that’s too much into details. The most important point I try to make is that the allies can -and should- deny the axis any 1 (single) transport ship in the med if they build a lot of bombers (3-4 per turn is a lot).

    Air blitzing Egypt will be very disadvantagous for the axis if they loose almost all (if not all) of the German Luftwaffe to do so is my second important point.
    So basically the threat on Egypt is non-existent if the axis have no ships left in the med, could be the third point…

    I’m not saying that the allies can easily overcome the German bombers like this, but sharing my thoughts on how to -possibly- overcome it by pointing out the (obvious or not) weak spots.


  • 2019 2018 2016 2015

    Or perhaps bomber attacks versus ships should be reduced to 2 instead of 4.

    @rgp44:

    @captain:

    I think for the UK to prevent a later game Sea Lion they would have to purchase an AA gun each turn, until they have at least ten, and an infantry for each German bomber purchased.

    Egypt is much tougher to defend though. Even with an IC and an effective transport schuck from SA you only get six units a turn there. The US can fly fighters to Egypt/UK via an airbase in Gib but that doesn’t help them win the game. Once Russia falls the tanks/mechs start moving to the Mideast and allies can’t get enough units there in time.

    A naval base in Brazil might be on option. That may help the US move ground units around Africa…because they’re not going to be able to move through the med.

    Just some thoughts…there has to be some way for the allies to win against this strategy.

    There doesn’t have to be a way for the allies to defend the strategy, there may be a way, but there doesn’t have to be.� The reason the bomber strategy is so effective is because the Germans have interior lines and most Allied reinforcement (US) has to come by ship.� The bombers prevent reinforcement unless you build a gigantic fleet which means you wasted most of your money just to land a few ground troops that those bombers can vaporize instead.� That’s the other point the bombers can attack everywhere but they only have to attack one place and the Allies can’t build 10 fighters for every place they need to defend.� I doubt KJF works either because Japan starts the game very strong and should be able to hold out long enough for Germany to win the game, even if they collapse in turn 8,9,10 Germany usually has all the VCs it needs besides Egypt and London and has a giant stack of bombers that can hit either one.� Dropping the price of strat bombers has caused this problem, I would like to try a few strategies against it but I honestly doubt they will work.� I think either the price of bombers should be raised or strat bombers should be prohibited from naval combat.


  • 2015

    or you could do something with unescorted bombers attacking at lower values which would be much more realistic, I cringe every time I send a stack of unescorted bombers against a factory because in reality any fighter cover would make mincemeat of unescorted bombers (unless its a night raid).


  • 2019 2018 2016 2015

    Wow I was just thinking that as well…like how unreal is it for unescorted bombers to go after fully loaded carriers.

    @rgp44:

    or you could do something with unescorted bombers attacking at lower values which would be much more realistic, I cringe every time I send a stack of unescorted bombers against a factory because in reality any fighter cover would make mincemeat of unescorted bombers (unless its a night raid).



  • @rgp44:

    or you could do something with unescorted bombers attacking at lower values which would be much more realistic, I cringe every time I send a stack of unescorted bombers against a factory because in reality any fighter cover would make mincemeat of unescorted bombers (unless its a night raid).

    Well ofcourse you bomb the factories by night not in daylight.
    Same thing how realistic is it for a carrier to launch its planes after it is hit by a submarine? Subs get a surprise attack.

    The game just isnt that realistic for that to happen the board needs to be at least 2x as big where the oceans are concerned.


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    I’m not if favor of changing the rules, but I do feel some of the rules favor this strategy.
    Like the delayed entry and reduced income for the US…by the time the US can get to Gib, Germany could already have enough bombers to take out their fleet.

    Or that you’re only allowed to scramble three fighters from an airbase…a big stack of fighters doesn’t help much if you can only use three of them to defend against a bomber stack.


  • 2015

    They change the “rules” every time we turn around.  They change how much units cost all the time why is the latest iteration sacred?  If you can win the game most of the time just by building 1 unit then that unit is too powerful and it should be made more expensive or less powerful in values.  There has been a continual struggle over decades to keep A&A games balanced and to act like one unit value or one specific rule is unchangeable is silly.  The fact is the bomber strategy makes a mockery of the game and I won’t use it even if it works, I would prefer that a strategy to neutralize it would emerge (short of bids going into the 30s) but if it doesn’t the game needs to be adjusted for the enjoyment of those who play.  No one wants to play a game where one and only strategy dominates.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @rgp44:

    They change the “rules” every time we turn around.   They change how much units cost all the time why is the latest iteration sacred?  If you can win the game most of the time just by building 1 unit then that unit is too powerful and it should be made more expensive or less powerful in values.  There has been a continual struggle over decades to keep A&A games balanced and to act like one unit value or one specific rule is unchangeable is silly.  The fact is the bomber strategy makes a mockery of the game and I won’t use it even if it works, I would prefer that a strategy to neutralize it would emerge (short of bids going into the 30s) but if it doesn’t the game needs to be adjusted for the enjoyment of those who play.  No one wants to play a game where one and only strategy dominates.

    I haven’t played against this yet, but it seems like the strategy is its own weakness. Since strat bombers are by nature expensive units, kill them at every opportunity and kill ground troops when you can’t. Build up your own bombers and hit those Axis bombers on the ground where they defend at one. To get to where you can kill them, deprive them of landing spaces so that your fleet is safe. Use the turn order to your advantage to 1 punch with the US and then two punch with the UK.

    Marsh


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    “They change the “rules” every time we turn around.”
    Really? mmm…I wasn’t aware of any rule changes to G40 since 2ed came out some years ago…please excuse my ignorance.
    Would you know where I could look up these changes so I could learn the new rules?


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    This is not a new topic for G40…it had a quite active thread years ago.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=31284.0


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