That last idea is very interesting!
Definitely reminds me of the bombardment pairing concept. It would make the bomber considerably less powerful though, so I see why you suggest to keep strategic bombing as OOB.
What’s interesting to me is that a very similar Bomber exploit for Germany that people have noted in G40 has been around since AA50, but in that game there was a fairly decent Russian counter since armor was still relatively cheap and all nations began play at war. Even then though, I recall many games where the go to play for Germany was a steady bomber spam.
The power projection and magnified attack advantage vs ships is potent, it isn’t quite exponential, but it can certainly feel that way with the doubling! In general 2 bombers together can just wreck it so much harder than 1, and when you start to carry it out over several rounds with a dozen bombers or two dozen etc reaching out across that kind of range, you start to see how the game can get unhinged air vs naval. Its probably analogous to the JTDTM in the older games, where sooner or later, the magnified power of a unit with reach and “can opening” potential, just becomes hard to ignore. Global is complicated enough that it’s sure to take longer to crack like that, but bombers are so potent and Germany is positioned a bit like USA in their ability to bomber halo around their core rich territories and project power around a wide field of the map.
As people are discussing it really comes down to the fact that its harder and more expensive for the Naval defender to put up 4’s (fighter defense hit) in the water, than it is for the Air attacker to put 4’s (tacB and especially stratB) in the water.
I mean for the Air attacker a strategic bomber costs 12 ipcs, and for 24 ipcs you can get a pair of Hit 4’s into the battle.
To match this on defense, you have to spend 16 ipcs on a Carrier and 20 ipcs on fighters, 36 ipcs to at least match the hits in the first round of combat. That’s a fairly large disparity, and it doesn’t include associated cost of the transport and destroyer fodder that the naval defender needs to be effective with their force. Then take that same sort of equation and run with it over a few rounds, basically the Air attacker buying bombers is likely to outclass the Naval defender (spending less money on average with more reach/options for the heavy hitting 4s.) If it turns out that the bomber strategy gets stale and people feel frustrated with it, then some simple HR solutions could help the game.
If you don’t want to change the ability of the bomber itself. I think the best idea proposed elsewhere, was for a carrier deck that holds 3 fighters. That was probably the most elegant solution I’ve heard. It has some ease of use advantages. First, you it doesn’t change the printed values on the battle board, or the unit cost/values printed on the map. Second, the carrier sculpts that come in the box can generally support 3 fighters if you rest them with their wings on the diagonal. Third, it doesn’t require you to change a whole lot of other rules to accommodate. It doesn’t alter the value of the bombers directly (so the battleboard and the rest of the rules can still remain. It change the OOB unit distribution on the mapboard. It’s just an feature of the carrier deck to put up better defense. It could potentially provide some interest with the opening combats though, as the ability to land a 3rd fighter on a carrier deck might allow for some novel openings. Baron has discussed the idea before. I don’t know that you’d really need to change much else for the concept to be viable in G40, at least then you could match the bomber buyer more easily on the water. You’d still incur the cost of the carrier deck to activate them, but the cumulative cost wouldn’t be as high for the hit 4’s, relative to the dude buying all the bombers.
Right now people use Air Bases as a way to get more three hit 4’s in the water on the scramble. But Air Bases are expensive as well, and they are limited to one per territory. It’s still possible for the bomber buyer to outclass this on hit 4’s, given enough time/bombers. Not to suggest that the bomber strategy is so out sized right now, that everyone would change the game like this. But since there doesn’t seem to be much discussion of a 1940 third Ed. game, HR stuff is probably the best way to go if you want to see bombers work in a less overpowered way, then at least the carrier could be brought more into line with it, giving players a way to get fighters additional fighters into the water.
I think either triple fighter carriers to match the bomber hits at 4, for less cost over time. Or something like this last suggestion to just to limit the ways in which bombers can attack other planes. Bombers dog fighting is kind of silly anyway granted hehe. But I don’t know which approach is best. I would like a solution that requires the fewest necessary changes, and has the widest application on this and other maps. I wish a third edition was considered by publisher, so some of these ideas could be addressed officially, but until then they’re interesting to explore.