Oh its definitely not exclusive to C5. In my experience it is often Japan that does the most consistent SBR damage OOB. Germany tends to preserve their combat bombers for dark skies fleet nuking and ground combats or the final battle for Moscow (rather than risking them to early AAAfire), whereas Japan will start buying StratB’s out of Tokyo pretty early on and send towards the center to raid. Once Yunnan is secure, as it almost always is on J2, Japan can raid Moscow from this territory or Kwang and land safely. They can do the same out of Karelia, once G stacks it, where Japanese bombers can also be used for Atlantic fleet coverage. Annoyingly, Japan can also use such bombers to raid London in a similar fashion once Moscow is knocked out.
Closing Western China would probably help with this, but wouldn’t address the underlying issue, just delay it for a few rounds.
The Russian economy is pretty weak, so it’s hard for them to stand up if they’re forced to spend half their cash each turn on repairs. This problem comes up all over the place, with the Russians too broke to do anything but turtle.
One consequence of making China a pre-industrial nation, is that it offers no good targets for Japanese SBR. This would probably be the most appropriate use of Japanese StratB’s, but since there is no need OOB, they can just fly on to India/Moscow.
Der Kuenstler has rules in his hybrid map that allow strat bombers to bomb any tile with an ipc value. I think the rule is pretty interesting, though probably impractical for tripleA, since it would likely require invisible factories everywhere.
I think the C5 bombers will probably be optimal for the basic mechanics, whether the economies will scale appropriately under such conditions is another question. Seems that UK and Russia are more likely to be bombed, and both of those Nations often have a pretty low economy in the Mid-Game. Both received aid from the US though, so I think you could interpret a warbonds type income bonus for 1942.2 and interpret it as lend lease, without really needing to come up with specific lend lease rules. In G40, which has Objectives as part of the standard game, it is easier to introduce more money if needed.
Warbond is a Tech, right?
So, it only requires to activate this Tech for Russia and UK only via Edit mode, right?
For play-testing progressive bonus for Russia, it is also possible to throw 1 machine dice and add PUs via Edit Mode upon collecting income phase.
So, it was the case with StBs at 12 IPCs doing D6 damage. The greater the case for C5 doing D6 damage.
It is pretty difficult for Russia to build 10 IPCs Fg (or TcB), Infantry or Artillery are much more needed.
For me, it seems another reason to not give A1 to StratBomber, having around 6 bombers attacking per game round (3 G + 3 J or 2G + 4 J) makes for an increase probability to shot down 1 Fg.
At least, with A0, there is only escorting Fg (or TcB) which can shot Fg interceptor down.
It happens during one play-test (in which there was no allies Fg in Moscow), Germany and Japan were able to provide 2 escorts each on a different SBR.
Giving one additional Fg seems to help, but we must consider it is part of a sound allies strat to send a few Fg to Moscow.