Night Witch: The Russian Bomber bid, for all recent A&A maps

  • '19 '15 '14

    OK I’ve decided that this is my go to solution on balance for pretty much every A&A board to come out since Revised. Or at least all the world boards that show an Axis advantage OOB. Just add a Russian strategic bomber at Moscow.

    AA50: 1941 Russian bomber at Moscow!
    1940 Global 2nd Edition: Russian bomber at Moscow!
    1942 2nd Edition: Russian bomber at Moscow!
    1941 Starter board: Russian bomber at Moscow!

    In the first 3 cases, the Ruskie bomber tends to provide at least a few new opening possibilities that wouldn’t be possible OOB, usually with a cool option against Japan as well as Germany. In the last case, Global, the Ruskie bomber isn’t quite as powerful, but at least it gives you something extra to work with when Russia finally joins in the fighting.

    I think its pretty hard to come away feeling disappointed as the Allies, when your Axis opponent spots you a Russian bomber at the outset to even the odds. Its also less likely to leave the Axis player feeling like their starting position got totally busted up with an overpowered ground or naval bid. So that’s my suggestion for what its worth. Before resorting to other things, try a Russian bomber first, and see if she does the trick.

  • '17 '16 '15

    Lately I’ve been playing with Bessarabia, Vyborg and Nenetsia all worth a buck. Russia starting income is the same but if Germany doesn’t attack until RD 4 that’s a extra 9 bucks for Russia. I’ve been splurging on a bomber RD 3. Really like the flexibility it gives for small counterattacks. Can hit the Middle East if Italy gets out of line and can mess with Japan in China or the Far East as well.

    Yea I’m a big fan of the Russian bomber. 🙂

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    In 1942.2 without the interceptor/escort option, wouldn’t it be best to use that Russian bomber and cordinate with UK to SBR the German factory? and wouldn’t this cause sour grapes from the axis player due to the bomber being house ruled?

  • '19 '15 '14

    In 1942.2 the bomber cannot reach Berlin for an R1 hit unless it lands in Karelia to die, so it can’t really effect Germany’s starting money unless you are willing to trade your bid unit just for the chance at that. It could strat bomb Berlin after the second round. I think there are likely better uses for the bomber in combat, and as Russia it’s a lot harder to stomach that AA fire if G rolls a lucky 1 (they can’t replace bombers like USA can) but if the Russians do want to use it for SBR, I don’t see a big problem with that. Given the strength of the German economy otherwise, Bombing is an important part of the Allied game to consider. If Russia wants to hop in as well, I think it serves to make the game more enjoyable for them. Now they can do what the other Allies are doing, so they still feel relevant to the game. Plus, if the bombing works, then this will yield a better balance by sides long term, which is the point of the bid in the first place right haha.

    If it’s an SBR type game, Germany’s grapes will be sour regardless, so I say let the Russians contribute if they want to. There’s still the AAAGUN after all!

    Short answer is yes, I think that could be an effective use of the Russian bomber, if you are willing to risk SBR. But even a successful bombing run or two, is still less distorting overall than a comparable bid for UK subs, or ground units would be, to swing the opening round TUV trade. Again, the reason I like this Moscow Bomber bid, is because it involves at least some element of risk on the part of the Soviets if they want to gain a more potent advantage with their extra unit. They have to make a choice and weigh the odds, and they have several options to consider, which increases the dynamism of the gameplay in the opening round.

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    All exellent points.

  • '19 '15 '14

    So I’ve been using this solution pretty consistently for a few years now, and continue to find it the most enjoyable way of dealing with the Axis advantage maps. The Red Bomber for game balance.

    I’m curious what people think about it from an historical perspective?

    Anyone have any insights? CWO Marc?

    I know that the Soviets bombed Romania as early as 1941, and that they had a long range bombers in operation against Germany from 1942 on.

    To me it makes a ton of sense in terms of the gameplay, but I think it might also fit for historical accuracy. My thread title was just a colorful nod to Soviet bomber babes, though I’m fairly sure they used gliders not the big multi engine behemoths. Still I think it would really be nice to see some extra support for the Red Bomber, by way of some historical footnotes, if anyone has sources or examples to help me get more altitude with concept.

    I just hate to see those giant sculpts go to waste  😄

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    I’m curious what people think about it from an historical perspective?

    Anyone have any insights? CWO Marc?

    I can’t address the issue of game balance because I have no skill in that sort of analysis.  From the historical point of view, I know that the Soviets were renowned for their use of ground-attack aircraft like the Shturmovik (A&A G40’s tactical bomber).  I don’t know very much about their use of strategic bombers.  It’s entirely possible that they made extensive use of them and that I’ve simply never heard of that part of their war effort…or it’s possible that they simply didn’t make much use of them.  My inclination is to think that it’s the latter case, for a couple of reasons.

    Reason one comes from Richard Overy’s book Why The Allies Won.  Overy contrasted to Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign (which was high-tech and capital-intensive) with the Soviet ground war (which was low-tech and labour-intensive), and argued that this was the result not just of the general military situation that each national group faced but also that each approach was better suited to their national temperaments, technological resources, industrial capacities, political situations, and ability to absorb large numbers of casualties.

    Reason two, which is a speculation on my part, is that for the Soviets tactical aviation applications were of more immediate relevance than strategic aviation applications because, for most of WWII, the Soviets were fighting on their own territory (which they were trying to liberate from the enemy) – in contrast with the British and the Americans, whose domestic territory was not occupied by the enemy.  The fundamental purpose of strategic bombing is to destroy the enemy’s physical capacity to wage war (by destroying his economic infrastructure) and his will to wage war (by killing the civilian population) – an approach that makes more sense when it’s applied to the enemy’s homeland territory than to areas of your own country that the enemy is occupying.

  • '19 '15 '14

    Did some real brief digging around on the wiki and found this…

    The last part seems to confirm those speculations in Reason 2 Marc mentioned aboved. Though I think there might still be enough in here to justify a starting Strat B for the Russians.

    The fact that the Russians are unlikely to ever be able to afford another one would put a ceiling on it, and give a nod to the fact that the Soviet strategic bombing campaigns in WW2 were dwarfed by those of the Western Allies. The logic there I guess would be that Britain and America can readily expand their bomber arsenal through purchasing, whereas the Soviets are basically stuck using what they start out with, or risk just getting crushed in the land war haha.

    Anyhow, here’s quick copy paster…

    "Soviet strategic bombing
    See also: Shuttle bombing and Operation Frantic
    The first Soviet offensive bomber campaign was directed against the Romanian oilfields in the summer of 1941.[185] In response to a German raid on Moscow on the night of 21�22 July 1941, Soviet Naval Aviation launched a series of seven raids against Germany, primarily Berlin, between the night of 7�8 August and 3�4 September. These attacks were undertaken by between four and fifteen aircraft�beginning on 11 August the new Tupolev TB-7�from the island of Saaremaa, base of the 1st Torpedo Air Regiment.[185] (At least one raid of the 81st Air Division took off from Pushkin.) Besides thirty tonnes of bombs, they also dropped leaflets with Joseph Stalin’s defiant speech of 3 July. The Soviets sent a total of 549 long-range bombers over German territory in all of 1941.[185]

    In March 1942 the strategic bombing arm of the Soviet Union was reorganized as the Long Range Air Force (ADD). It raided Berlin from 26�29 August and again on the night of 9�10 September with 212 planes.[185] It raided Helsinki for the first time on 24 August, Budapest on 4�5 and 9�10 September and Bucharest on 13�14 September. The German-occupied Polish cities of Krakow and Warsaw were not exempt, but the bombers concentrated primarily on military targets.[185] There were 1,114 sorties over Germany in 1942. In March 1943 there was a strategic shift: in preparation for the Kursk Offensive, the bombers were directed against the German railroads behind the front.[185] In April the Long Range Air Force expanded to eight air corps and eleven independent divisions containing 700 planes. After the Kursk preparations, the Soviets turned their attention to administrative and industrial targets in East Prussia in April. With 920 aircraft taking part, they dropped 700 tonnes of bombs there. The largest Soviet bomb of the war, an 11,000-pound weapon, was dropped on Konigsberg during one of these raids.[185]

    Throughout 1943, the Soviets attempted to give the impression of cooperation between their bombers and those of the West.[185] In February 1944 they again shifted priority, this time towards terror bombing, with the goal of knocking Finland and Hungary out of the war.[185] Helsinki was struck by 733 bombers on the night of 6�7 February, by 367 on the 15�16th and 850 on the 25�26th. A total of 2,386 tonnes of bombs were dropped.[185] Budapest was hit four straight nights from 13�20 September with a total of 8,000 tonnes by 1,129 bombers. The Soviets flew 4,466 sorties into enemy territory in the year 1944. In December the Long Range Air Force was reorganized as the 18th Air Army.[185]

    The main task of the 18th Air Army was to support the final offensive against Germany, but it also undertook raids against Berlin, Breslau, Danzig and Konigsberg.[185] In total, 7,158 Soviet aircraft dropped 6,700 tonnes of bombs on Germany during the war, a modest 3.1% of Soviet bomber sorties, a mere 0.5% of all Allied “strategic” sorties against German-occupied territory and a measly 0.2% of all bombs dropped on it.[185]

    After the war, Marxist historians in the Soviet Union and East Germany claimed that the Soviet strategic bombing campaign was limited by moral qualms over bombing civilian centres.[185] One early bombing theorist, Vasili Chripin, whose theories influenced the Soviet Union’s first strategic bombing guidelines (1936) and the service regulations of 26 January 1940, drew back from terror bombing as advocated by Western theorists.[185] The Spanish Civil War also convinced Soviet war planners that the air force was most effective when used in close cooperation with ground forces. Nonetheless, after the war, Marshal Vasili Sokolovsky admitted that the Soviets would have gladly launched a strategic bombing offensive had they the capability.[185] In reality, the Soviets never geared aircraft production towards long-range bombers, and so never had enough to mount an effective campaign. The land-based nature of warfare on the Eastern Front also required closer cooperation between the air forces and ground troops than did, for example, the defence of Great Britain.[185]"

    That note 185 heavily referenced above shows the following as its main/only source… so there’s that too I guess. Little lackluster, but you know what they say about beggers lol

    Horst Boog; Derry Cook-Radmore, trans., “Part I: The Strategic Air War in Europe and Air Defence of the Reich, 1943�44”, in Germany and the Second World War, Volume VII: The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia, 1943�44/5 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 [Stuttgart: Deutsche Veralgs-Anstalt GmbH, 2005]), 153�58.

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