SBRs and Interceptors – Rule Checks

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Hi All

    Am in a forum game with teslas and even his greater understanding of the rules cannot answer all my questions. Although it is also likely that in some cases he has answered and I have not understood!

    I am considering a SBR on R. teslas has 5 UK and 2 R fighters there, all of which we understand can intercept.

    My three questions:

    1. The escort and bombing choices I have?

    All air units in the interceptor battle throw 1 or less - including fighters, TBs and bombers. Both sides choose their air battle losses as they wish.

    That encourages me to include TBs and bombers in the SBR that I may not wish to actually bomb.

    For example TBs can only bomb airfields and harbours – which seems largely irrelevant in this case - so do they have to bomb and so incur AA, or can they merely escort?

    Similarly I may not need all the bombers I commit to optimise factory damage, so can some merely escort and so avoid AA fire?

    Quote from the rules: After the air battle is complete, or if there were no defending fighter interceptors, surviving fighter escorts are considered to have retreated. They don’t participate in the actual bombing raid, are not subject to antiaircraft fire, and will remain in the territory until the Noncombat Move phase. Any surviving attacking bombers carry out the bombing raid. If the territory offers more than one target, the bombers may be divided into groups, and each assigned a specific target (tactical bombers may not attack industrial complexes).
    It does not say must carry out the bombing raid, so does that leave me options? Does not say may carry out either, so seems open to interpretation.

    One example might be whether the attacker has the option of scrubbing the all or part of the SBR altogether.

    2. The AA casualty choices I have?

    From the above quote it seems clear that escorting fighters cannot be taken as AA casualties.

    Quote from the rules: “Each industrial complex, air base, and naval base has its
    own antiaircraft system. If there is an AAA (antiaircraftartillery) unit in the targeted territory, don’t roll for it. Those units are used to protect combat units. Each complex and base rolls one die against each bomber directly attacking it (regardless of the number of bombers). For each “1” rolled, a bomber of the attacker’s choice is immediately removed.”

    How far dies that undefined choice extend? If 3 bombers bomb the factory and 2 TBs bomb the airfield, the factory AA kills 1 and the airfield AA none, can I choose a TB as the casualty? Or having subdivided into groups for each facility do the AA only hit planes of that group?

    And depending on the answer to the first question above, if non-bombing escort only bombers and TBs are allowed can these be taken as casualties? For example can I allocate TBs to the factory group even though they cannot bomb?

    3. Does Triple A handle all these issues correctly?

    Thanks to anyone able to help in advance.

  • '15

    If my understanding of the rules is correct, and I didn’t misinterpret your questions, here are your answers:

    1. Once you’ve committed to the bombing raid and rolling has begun you are locked into that.

    2. You can bring TB’s to strike the air base and take them as hits against any interceptor rolls

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12 Official Q&A Moderator TripleA

    @Private:


    1. The escort and bombing choices I have?

    All air units in the interceptor battle throw 1 or less - including fighters, TBs and bombers. Both sides choose their air battle losses as they wish.
    That encourages me to include TBs and bombers in the SBR that I may not wish to actually bomb.
    For example TBs can only bomb airfields and harbours - which seems largely irrelevant in this case - so do they have to bomb and so incur AA, or
    can they merely escort?

    Only fighters can escort/intercept. You can’t bring Tacs to escort/intercept.

    @rulebook:

    Both attacking
    and defending fighters (not tactical bombers) can also
    participate in strategic bombing raids as escorts and
    interceptors.

    If you intend to only SBR a factory you cannot bring Tacs to the SBR. As Tacs can only bomb Airfields and Harbors.

    @rulebook:

    If the territory offers more than one
    target, the bombers may be divided into groups, and each
    assigned a specific target (tactical bombers may not attack
    industrial complexes)
    .

    @Private:

    Similarly I may not need all the bombers I commit to optimise factory damage, so can some merely escort and so avoid AA fire?

    If there are surviving bombers they are subject to AA fire (not any surviving fighter).
    As stated above, only fighters can escort.

    @Private:

    Quote from the rules: After the air battle is complete, or if there were no defending fighter interceptors, surviving fighter escorts are
    considered to have retreated. They don’t participate in the actual bombing raid, are not subject to antiaircraft fire, and will remain in the
    territory until the Noncombat Move phase. Any surviving attacking bombers carry out the bombing raid. If the territory offers more than one
    target, the bombers may be divided into groups, and each assigned a specific target (tactical bombers may not attack industrial complexes).

    It does not say must carry out the bombing raid, so does that leave me options? Does not say may carry out either, so
    seems open to interpretation.

    One example might be whether the attacker has the option of scrubbing the all or part of the SBR altogether.

    No options here. Bombers just do carry out the bombing raid.

    @Private:

    2. The AA casualty choices I have?

    From the above quote it seems clear that escorting fighters cannot be taken as AA casualties.

    Correct.

    @Private:

    Quote from the rules: “Each industrial complex, air base, and naval base has its
    own antiaircraft system. If there is an AAA (antiaircraftartillery) unit in the targeted territory, don’t roll for it. Those units are used to
    protect combat units. Each complex and base rolls one die against each bomber directly attacking it (regardless of the number of bombers). For each
    ‘1’ rolled, a bomber of the attacker’s choice is immediately removed.”

    How far dies that undefined choice extend? If 3 bombers bomb the factory and 2 TBs bomb the airfield, the factory AA kills 1 and the airfield AA
    none, can I choose a TB as the casualty? Or having subdivided into groups for each facility do the AA only hit planes of that group?

    And depending on the answer to the first question above, if non-bombing escort only bombers and TBs are allowed can these be taken as casualties?

    For example can I allocate TBs to the factory group even though they cannot bomb?

    If you have different bombers attacking different targets you divide them into groups and assign a specific target, remembering that Tacs may not attack ICs. You can avoid confusion by rolling target-wise. If you attack a Harbour with a bomber and a Tac and the AA scores one hit, you may choose to lose either the bomber or the tac. And again - you can’t bring Tacs to SBR a factory.

    @Private:

    3. Does Triple A handle all these issues correctly?

    I do hope so, but I don’t know, as I use SBR very rarely.
    Maybe Gamerman’s list can help you. Although it might not be updated to TripleA 1809.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cS3hFwoBP0rWr3208jw1LAtCvHYa9Ji9uU8PwbCMIwM/edit

    I hope I have understood all your questions correctly. Please ask if anything remains unclear.

    HTH 🙂

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks very much P@nther and Nippon-koku. I think all is clear now.

    Thanks also for the Triple A issues list, from which I note the following:

    1. SBR –
      a) When you are attacking more than one facility in the same territory, Triple A incorrectly fires AA at all bombers together, allowing the attacker to choose tactical bombers illegally, potentially.  Each facility should fire AA at only the bombers attacking that facility. (is in Triple A notes)
      c) Triple A does not allow SBR of a territory that you walked into on combat move (is in Triple A notes)

    Cheers
    PP

  • '15

    So just to be clear:

    Q:
    Can planes be sent as escort even if they don’t bomb? For instance, if I have 15 french strategic bombers in Paris, and I want to bomb the major factory in Western Germany, but Germany has 5 fighters there, may I send all 15 french strat bombers to take place in the air battle or to discourage one, but then after that only have 3 of those bombers actually bomb a facility and risk dying to AA fire, with all of the other bombers simply turning around and flying home on the non-com?

    Is the answer this?:
    No, all French bombers in this instance must bomb a facility, and all must be subject to AA fire.

  • '15

    @teslas:

    So just to be clear:

    Q:
    Can planes be sent as escort even if they don’t bomb? For instance, if I have 15 french strategic bombers in Paris, and I want to bomb the major factory in Western Germany, but Germany has 5 fighters there, may I send all 15 french strat bombers to take place in the air battle or to discourage one, but then after that only have 3 of those bombers actually bomb a facility and risk dying to AA fire, with all of the other bombers simply turning around and flying home on the non-com?

    Is the answer this?:
    No, all French bombers in this instance must bomb a facility, and all must be subject to AA fire.

    Your answer is correct.  Once you bring the tac’s and commit them to the SBR of the air/sea base they are there for the long haul.

  • '15

    Hrm, interesting. You can retreat in land battles or sea battles after one round. In SBR’s, you can’t retreat after the dogfight. You’d think having the option to change your mind after the dogfight would make sense.

    I guess the point of forcing the strats/tacs to bomb something is to allow the defender more chances to shoot them. This discourages you from sending strat bombers, effectively, only as escorts, which is probably for the best, since strat bombers are already horridly effective for only 2 IPCs more than fighters.

  • '15

    Keep in mind the retreat rule is after one round of combat.  What you’re proposing would more like attacking a territory, losing 3 planes on the AA roll and then saying “Damn, I’m going to withdraw before the battle.”

    If the tac’s could withdraw before the AA hits then essentially it would just be a way to skirt the “only fighters can be escorts” rule

  • 2021 2020 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @teslas:

    This discourages you from sending strat bombers, effectively, only as escorts, which is probably for the best, since strat bombers are already horridly effective for only 2 IPCs more than fighters.

    Actually tes - it does not merely discourage you - it stops you. As I read it all bombers or TBs must bomb. So not being sent as escorts at all, but as bombers that take part in the air battle and then take their chances with AA when bombing.

  • '15

    I meant more of a figurative thing.

    You can still send extra bombers as an escort of sort, to discourage the enemy intercepting you with fighters, sure, but then you still have to have each of those bombers have a 1 rolled against them from AA fire. Very strong discouragement indeed.

    You could, however, still do it if you wished. So it doesn’t “stop” you unless you’re taking the word “escort” super literally.

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

    This is just to toss in a bit of historical perspective in case it’s of any interest.  An escort, in very generic terms, is a secondary unit that accompanies a primary unit on a mission but which serves a different function than the primary unit.  This different function is usually some kind of protective or support role.  In terms of strategic bomber missions, the protective-escort role was generally carried out by fighters (preferably long-range ones).  American WWII bomber doctrine did see bombers as protecting each other, in the sense that bombers like the B-17 were heavily armed and flew in formations designed to allow them to cover each other…but they weren’t regarded as “escorts” because each bomber still had the primary mission of bombing enemy targets.  The British and American bomber commands in WWII did, however, stage decoy missions using multiple independent bomber formations.  Typically, several formations (often widely separated) would be sent into the air, on courses which didn’t clearly indicate what specific target they were heading towards (they would eventually change course to head for their actual targets), with the Allies hoping that the Germans would send up their fighters to intercept the decoy force (which in some cases would turn back once it had drawn out the defencers) and thus end up out of position to attack the actual striking force.  If the Germans guessed which force was real and which was fake, however, then the trick didn’t work.  But at any rate, the only case I can recall of strategic bombers serving as pure escorts to other strategic bombers were the two A-bomb missions over Japan.  In each case, one plane carried the bomb while the others carried observers and recording instruments.

  • '15

    Yeah. All that is true. Next time link us to some good URLs for more reading 😛

    But again, I was talking about functionality in the framework of A&A G40 about rolling 1’s in air battles.

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

    @teslas:

    Yeah. All that is true. Next time link us to some good URLs for more reading 😛

    The 1944 colour documentary “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress” gives a pretty good impression of what an American daylight bombing mission over Germany was like.  For a much more fictionalized depiction of a British nighttime bombing mission, there’s the classic 1941 British b&w film “Target for Tonight,” which is notorious from today’s perspective for the way it shows early-war RAF bombers hitting their targets (all, of course, strictly military ones) with pinpoint accuracy in the middle of the night.  Both films are probably available somewhere on YouTube.

  • '15

    I’ve seen the first one. Watched in some class ten years ago. Now that you mention it, I might do it again. I love period films that aren’t period films because they were actually filmed in the period they’re portraying.

  • '17 '16 '15

    @Private:

    1. SBR –
      a) When you are attacking more than one facility in the same territory, Triple A incorrectly fires AA at all bombers together, allowing the attacker to choose tactical bombers illegally, potentially.  Each facility should fire AA at only the bombers attacking that facility. (is in Triple A notes)
      c) Triple A does not allow SBR of a territory that you walked into on combat move (is in Triple A notes)

    Cheers
    PP

    Yea this would be nice if it worked correctly. TBs are used as extended escort until you KO w/e they’re bombing

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