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How to counter Dark Skies+J1 attack?


  • 2017

    @simon33:

    How much do you reckon adopting the BM SBR rules would change the starting bid? I reckon it should go pretty close to halving it.

    I agree with you 100% on this. SBR against Moscow (or London) is downright impossible to counter if the Axis are dedicated to it. And sure the Allies can SBR, but the Axis have better counter-strategies available (defending potential SBR bases like Norway or Iwo Jima).



  • I don’t see that the Bal Mod changes to SBR is too much of a game-changer.  Both sides do bombing raids so the modifications work both ways.  Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.  A bombing raids just have a slight positive outcome when you throw in chance that the planes are shot down and that your units are out of position to do other actions for a round or two.

    Personally I don’t do too many SBR as Germany because my goal is to head to the Middle East, avoiding a Moscow attack until G10+ in most games.  If the Allies are going heavy in the Atlantic, I spend 10 PUs per round to reinforce France with three ground units and another 7 PUs per round to reinforce Scandinavia with a couple of ground units.  That limits the ability to overwhelm the Eastern front.  I can patiently win the game with an economic victory by having the combined Japan+Germany income exceed that of the Allies.  The ability to project power with the bomber force makes the advantage enormous, especially in a TripleA match where I can battlecalc every option every round.  One mistake and an Allied force will get pulverized.


  • 2017

    @Arthur:

    Both sides do bombing raids so the modifications work both ways.

    It is far harder for the Allies to effectively SBR Germany or Japan. If the Allies have the resources and position to cripple a majorIC, then they’re probably already winning anyways. Allied SBR is mostly gravy.

    @Arthur:

    A bombing raids just have a slight positive outcome when you throw in chance that the planes are shot down and that your units are out of position to do other actions for a round or two.

    Assuming average results, 6 runs will yield 1 lost bomber (-12) and 25 damage inflicted. That return on investment is pretty good, but it’s not the whole picture.

    When you ultimately attack Moscow, every infantry that Russia couldn’t afford is another infantry who’s not inflicting casualties for every round of that battle (for arguments sake, lets say 3 rounds). If SBR results in just 8 fewer Russians, that might equal 24 shots in the battle (some of which will be hitting more expensive units than merely other infantry).

    SBR can also allow Germany can capture Moscow earlier than it otherwise could, which can be priceless.

    Don’t get me wrong, SBR is not required to win at all. I am just saying that if you choose to go that route, it can easily be a game-changer.


  • 2018 2017

    as we’ve often discussed about Dark Skies and Bright Skies, the bomber is a game changer–not on the TUV economics.      Its the only way Axis can melt the economy of the Allies, if you add in taking all their land, blocking their NOs, and convoying them, its devastating because the UK and USSR econs are smaller than Germanys.

    With the AB rule it just moves so far, and it’s so versatile.  So you blast Russia, then UK, then blast their fleet, even when you just bought 1-2 SBs per turn.

    We are going to try BM/YG rules next game and at least as we’ve been playing recently, there are a lot more fighters intercepting/escorting than ever before.  More fighters surviving longer and on key AB zones, thinking itll be a game changer too.



  • @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid (besides the above North Africa units) to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?



  • @hcp:

    @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?

    I think the only thing with the J1 would be giving the Red Army East an offensive ability against Japan by liberating Chinese territories forcing Japan to rely even more on transports and thus navy making them more able to be sunk by US. As for dark skies, I can’t see anything beyond more infantry and artillery unless the other solution is to give the Northern Red Army more offensive ability to get Finland and Norway which is 6 dollars of Spread of Communism on top of 5 dollars for both territory value.



  • @Caesar:

    @hcp:

    @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?

    I think the only thing with the J1 would be giving the Red Army East an offensive ability against Japan by liberating Chinese territories forcing Japan to rely even more on transports and thus navy making them more able to be sunk by US. As for dark skies, I can’t see anything beyond more infantry and artillery unless the other solution is to give the Northern Red Army more offensive ability to get Finland and Norway which is 6 dollars of Spread of Communism on top of 5 dollars for both territory value.

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.



  • As a guy who only plays table top games and does not play with bids…here is my final thought.

    If the Allies can inflict pain and suffering on 50/50 battles. Do not shy away from them, take them all the time. The more CAS the Axis take on their land units the less amount of IPC the Axis can put into air power.

    Allies need to “cup” check themselves and get on the offense early and often across the entire globe.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @Arthur:

    I don’t see that the Bal Mod changes to SBR is too much of a game-changer.  Both sides do bombing raids so the modifications work both ways.  Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.  A bombing raids just have a slight positive outcome when you throw in chance that the planes are shot down and that your units are out of position to do other actions for a round or two.

    Personally I don’t do too many SBR as Germany because my goal is to head to the Middle East, avoiding a Moscow attack until G10+ in most games.  If the Allies are going heavy in the Atlantic, I spend 10 PUs per round to reinforce France with three ground units and another 7 PUs per round to reinforce Scandinavia with a couple of ground units.  That limits the ability to overwhelm the Eastern front.  I can patiently win the game with an economic victory by having the combined Japan+Germany income exceed that of the Allies.  The ability to project power with the bomber force makes the advantage enormous, especially in a TripleA match where I can battlecalc every option every round.  One mistake and an Allied force will get pulverized.

    I can’t say I like the part about not bombing Moscow. Surely the less infantry they can afford, the better for Germany.

    OOB, if Germany attacks Moscow with 3 bombers and 2 escorts vs 5 potential interceptors, the air battle is a wash (ignoring the possibility of enough hits by the defender to take down a bomber). In BM, it’s enough to make the attack minimal expected value for Germany. There are also cases where the air battle can be underpowered but the SBR is still worthwhile in G40/OOB. That last case is relatively rare in BM.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    @Caesar:

    @hcp:

    @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?

    I think the only thing with the J1 would be giving the Red Army East an offensive ability against Japan by liberating Chinese territories forcing Japan to rely even more on transports and thus navy making them more able to be sunk by US. As for dark skies, I can’t see anything beyond more infantry and artillery unless the other solution is to give the Northern Red Army more offensive ability to get Finland and Norway which is 6 dollars of Spread of Communism on top of 5 dollars for both territory value.

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.

    The one mech is a good idea too as I would instantly use that to get over to Persia and bring them into the fight.



  • @Caesar:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.

    The one mech is a good idea too as I would instantly use that to get over to Persia and bring them into the fight.

    Thanks  ShadowHAwk.  Mech is a good idea! 
    Caesar: I am thinking one additional option that the Burma mech can do is to retake FIC from Japan in normal J1 attack (or attack Siam planes if there is no inf left in J1 Siam) .  Then we might delay the J2 MIC in FIC (or kill Japanese planes in Siam).



  • @hcp:

    @Caesar:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.

    The one mech is a good idea too as I would instantly use that to get over to Persia and bring them into the fight.

    Thanks  ShadowHAwk.  Mech is a good idea! 
    Caesar: I am thinking one additional option that the Burma mech can do is to retake FIC from Japan in normal J1 attack (or attack Siam planes if there is no inf left in J1 Siam) .  Then we might delay the J2 MIC in FIC (or kill Japanese planes in Siam).

    Usually in my games, Japan camps on FIC and factories it since it is can be used against India and China.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    1 mech on Burma has to attack 2 inf on FIC. With 2 ftr+1tac in range, you’ll lose just under 1 plane on average. You’ll also have to accept those planes being put out of position though. They can’t get back to India. Ground troops on the Philippines would be in range, or the SZ35 TTs could pick up troops left on Kwangtung. Seem like a bit of suicide mission for your air force in the region.

    Japan could also just attack Shan State with one of the inf.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    @simon33:

    1 mech on Burma has to attack 2 inf on FIC. With 2 ftr+1tac in range, you’ll lose just under 1 plane on average. You’ll also have to accept those planes being put out of position though. They can’t get back to India. Ground troops on the Philippines would be in range, or the SZ35 TTs could pick up troops left on Kwangtung. Seem like a bit of suicide mission for your air force in the region.

    Japan could also just attack Shan State with one of the inf.

    Suppose Japan declared J1 and China countered Hunan (if necessary) and Yunnan.  So the idea is to destroy the last 2 inf on Fico and land the fighters on Yunnan or Burma.  If Japan takes Shan State J1, UK retakes it via Malaya and it’s less likely they need to sacrifice a plane to take Fico.  Meanwhile, UK uses the cruiser and the dd to counter and block 37.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    UK attacks the 1 inf on FIC with planes only? If it can’t block Japan from building an IC there, is it really worthwhile?



  • @simon33:

    UK attacks the 1 inf on FIC with planes only? If it can’t block Japan from building an IC there, is it really worthwhile?

    Well it prevents japan from attacking yunnan again so china gets the NO and art the next round.

    A J1 is powerfull but the lack of forward ground forces can be devestating to japan if they get a few bad rolls.


  • 2018 2017

    Before the J3, FiC w/factory is a take that requires careful placement and resources.  Maphead and Squid have repeatedly snaked or deterred this placement.

    Our house games are getting very KJF so that inland factories are luxury feeds



  • @Gargantua:

    Without reading through all the walls of text… I do find the solution to Dark Skies is to call it’s bluff; and dogpile in.

    Too often multiple allied armies/navies on the board are afraid of being obliterated by the bomber stack at the same time.  Even though the bombers can only attack one force at a time;  what they “could” do; and living in fear of it, is what hampers the allies.

    SO… the only response is to accept that fate, especially with america, and dogpile in.  Go to Gibrlatar,  go to places where you give them the option of attacking - with just bombers whenever possible; give them choices.  Attack Russia?  or Attack USA/UK fleet?  Once they start to spend the trump card, the whole house of cards usually falls apart.

    It does suck because you will have some battles where you pay through the nose…  but sometimes its the only way.

    do you have any games posted where you played allies where this was effective?



  • @Caesar:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    @Caesar:

    @hcp:

    @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?

    I think the only thing with the J1 would be giving the Red Army East an offensive ability against Japan by liberating Chinese territories forcing Japan to rely even more on transports and thus navy making them more able to be sunk by US. As for dark skies, I can’t see anything beyond more infantry and artillery unless the other solution is to give the Northern Red Army more offensive ability to get Finland and Norway which is 6 dollars of Spread of Communism on top of 5 dollars for both territory value.

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.

    The one mech is a good idea too as I would instantly use that to get over to Persia and bring them into the fight.

    I don’t think you can use a mech to activate 2 pro-allied territories in a row.



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    @Caesar:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    @Caesar:

    @hcp:

    @Arthur:

    Add in that most attacks against Moscow are happening on G4+, and it doesn’t have nearly as much impact as additional units to swing key battles during the first round.  An extra 20 PUs of bid results in an additional 20+ PU swing in net battle casualties, leading to a 40+ swing of units in key areas, leading to 60+ swing of units by the fifth turn.

    AB Harris: might I ask where are those first round key battle areas that the bid can offer such large PU swings?  I can only identify North Africa sub+Tank+2 art to have such large effect.

    If I have 40 bid, where should I put the 20 additional bid to counter patient Dark Skies + J1 attack?

    I think the only thing with the J1 would be giving the Red Army East an offensive ability against Japan by liberating Chinese territories forcing Japan to rely even more on transports and thus navy making them more able to be sunk by US. As for dark skies, I can’t see anything beyond more infantry and artillery unless the other solution is to give the Northern Red Army more offensive ability to get Finland and Norway which is 6 dollars of Spread of Communism on top of 5 dollars for both territory value.

    How about add 1 mech to burma for india.

    Against dark skies the allies just need a bit more fleet to call the bombers out. Attack and you trade your bombers dont attack and ill invade you.

    The one mech is a good idea too as I would instantly use that to get over to Persia and bring them into the fight.

    I don’t think you can use a mech to activate 2 pro-allied territories in a row.

    No but you can hang out in the area and get Persia if Italy didn’t land in the Middle East and activate Iraq or Germany invading Turkey. Also depends if UK isn’t selfish and take it before you do.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    @Gargantua:

    Without reading through all the walls of text… I do find the solution to Dark Skies is to call it’s bluff; and dogpile in.

    Too often multiple allied armies/navies on the board are afraid of being obliterated by the bomber stack at the same time.  Even though the bombers can only attack one force at a time;  what they “could” do; and living in fear of it, is what hampers the allies.

    SO… the only response is to accept that fate, especially with america, and dogpile in.  Go to Gibrlatar,  go to places where you give them the option of attacking - with just bombers whenever possible; give them choices.  Attack Russia?  or Attack USA/UK fleet?  Once they start to spend the trump card, the whole house of cards usually falls apart.

    It does suck because you will have some battles where you pay through the nose…  but sometimes its the only way.

    Preach it man!

    If DS would have been so powerful it would have become a Standard move or strategy, but it isn’t.
    Yeah it may pays off a few times, but people adapt and reconfigurate their tactics.
    The downfall of DS is that it requires a lot of ipc’s and additional forces to work properly.

    With the wise words of Gargantua:

    Don’t be afraid, FIGHT!!

    Klagt nicht kaempft!

    FIGHT, win and vanish!



  • @ Topic opener:
    Just started reading, but there really shouldn’t be a minor complex on Java (island rule)  🙂


  • 2016

    @Ozymandiac:

    @ Topic opener:
    Just started reading, but there really shouldn’t be a minor complex on Java (island rule)  🙂

    Haha!  I just noticed that as well.  A big NO, NO on Java.  I’ve played against Dark skies I think twice in league play.  I know I won one of them don’t remember the outcome of the other.  So many games…  I will say it was tough to overcome but not impossible.  I echo what GARG said.  You have to be agressive and call their bluff.  Stay offensive with Russia, killing whatever ground you can.  The US and UK need to own the Atlantic and force the bombers to choose where they are gonna attack.  They can’t do both!  You might lose some navy but get those boots on the ground!  Once the initial sting of a bomber attack is over they aren’t going to be replaced anytime soon.  Take as many as you can with you. And keep it coming.  German ground will get real thin.  And you have to keep Japan in check.  Attack the ground forces in China.  Japan can beaten by gutting them from the inside out.  Not saying it’s easy just don’t be afraid of giant bomber stacks, cause if you are he has already won.



  • @Majik, Gargantua etc.  I understand you occupy Germany by throwing assaults to whittle down the bomber fleet.  Are there any examples of this in gameplay?

    As I see it… pretty much by T5, Moscow is bottled up and under seige in best case scenario with little to no influence from US/ENG.  Worst case scenario they vacate and Italy takes.

    I believe you are correct, was just hoping to see a game with someone who has done it.



  • @majikforce:

    @Ozymandiac:

    @ Topic opener:
    Just started reading, but there really shouldn’t be a minor complex on Java (island rule)  🙂

    Haha!  I just noticed that as well.  A big NO, NO on Java.  I’ve played against Dark skies I think twice in league play.  I know I won one of them don’t remember the outcome of the other.  So many games…   I will say it was tough to overcome but not impossible.  I echo what GARG said.  You have to be agressive and call their bluff.  Stay offensive with Russia, killing whatever ground you can.  The US and UK need to own the Atlantic and force the bombers to choose where they are gonna attack.  They can’t do both!  You might lose some navy but get those boots on the ground!  Once the initial sting of a bomber attack is over they aren’t going to be replaced anytime soon.  Take as many as you can with you. And keep it coming.  German ground will get real thin.  And you have to keep Japan in check.  Attack the ground forces in China.  Japan can beaten by gutting them from the inside out.  Not saying it’s easy just don’t be afraid of giant bomber stacks, cause if you are he has already won.

    Indeed, US can easy counter them buying carriers + fighters. Same price and the carriers should come out ahead a little.
    That with an AB on gibraltar and 2 full carriers + 3 air can take on 9 bombers and have a good chance to win ( or mutual annihilation )
    And you even got a cruiser and most likely a few destroyers there as well. So even 12 bombers will be a close call. germany isnt going to replace 11 bombers, US can easy replace 2 carriers.


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