Making Bombers viable



  • OK anybody that has the OOB rules knows the major typo with SBRs. Upon closer inspection the OOB rules state that EACH bomber is capped by the territory limit. Then the obvious typo of which is greater cash on hand or the resulting role. MY question is this, if each bomber was capped at the territory limit as opposed to all bombers would it make buying bombers and SBRs a worthwhile strat?



  • @a44bigdog:

    OK anybody that has the OOB rules knows the major typo with SBRs. Upon closer inspection the OOB rules state that EACH bomber is capped by the territory limit. Then the obvious typo of which is greater cash on hand or the resulting role. MY question is this, if each bomber was capped at the territory limit as opposed to all bombers would it make buying bombers and SBRs a worthwhile strat?

    It would make it the ONLY strategy.  USA buys bombers, rolls for heavy bombers…. Germany never gets to spend money from round 4 on.

    Game over.



  • Perhaps, but I was more talking about a modified LHTR rules situation wher add ing one to the best dice restrains heavy bombers. Also there is AA to consider and I also think this might possibly make added ICs which are generally in low cap territories more viable targets. I think as it stands now SBRs are basically worthless.



  • @a44bigdog:

    Perhaps, but I was more talking about a modified LHTR rules situation wher add ing one to the best dice restrains heavy bombers. Also there is AA to consider and I also think this might possibly make added ICs which are generally in low cap territories more viable targets. I think as it stands now SBRs are basically worthless.

    HB’s in LHTR are worthless now since they can only manage 1 hit when in ‘regular’ combat.  That’s not such a heavy bomber as it is a deadly accurate one.

    You talked about OOB rules then switch to LHTR.  Which one are you talking about?

    The restriction on bombers(HBs) to total damage for ALL bombers is the major difference between OOB and LHTR.  You referred to removing THAT restraint.  That is not possible.  That was a good change in LHTR.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I think we need a happy medium.

    Heavy Bombers do 2d6 damage.  If both those dice are 5s or 6s, then you just have to hang your bombardier for treason is all.  However, damage per industrial complex should be capped per game turn.  That means all of Russia’s Bombers and Rockets + Englands + America’s can do no more damage then 10 IPC to Germany, period, until Germany collects another 10 IPC.

    Reason?  Germany can only collect money once.  Why should they be at risk thrice?  Remember, you can only buy units once per round, and, in effect, SBR damage is the cost of rebuilding your factories, thus, you can only rebuild your factories once per round.  If it’s destroyed completely (in the case of Germany has sustained 10 IPC in damage) then it cannot be damaged MORE until you fix it.

    Tracking this would be incredibly easy.  Just use control markers for that country and place them by the IC.  Each time it takes more damage, you put more control markers on the board.



  • That limitation would make me more inclined to allow Rockets and HB technologies in a game.

    They could still be devastatingly effective, but they could not longer be “sole application” strategies, and they would have to have improved implementation by a player.

    However, if you are going to limit damage to an IC territory for an entire turn, then you also need to consider “Tactical SBR’s” and rocket attacks that could be done against non-IC territories.  Perhaps a per total game turn limit of half of the IPC value of the territory.

    So for example you could do $3 worth of damage to Western, representing the cost to repair bridges, roads, ports, etc.



  • I really like the “Tactical Bombing Raid” suggestion that seems to have merit. I still do not see this change as an automatic slam dunk for the Allies. If the US is buying Bombers each and every turn Japan is totally unmolested and only UK is fighting in Africa. I also think that AA would come into play as well. My view on this is currently the only nations really at risk of any SBRs are Russia, Germany and England(by Germany only) Germany can be theoretically maxed out by 3 bombers 2 hitting Germany with rolls of 5 and 1 hitting Southern Europe at 6. IF the same 3 Bombers attacked Germany and all rolled 6 the damage merely jumps from 16 to 18 no real big difference. I do think this change would provide more opportunities for SBRs against Asian ICs of Japan, England, and the US.

    I am wondering also if this being a good change in LHTR was the nerf to heavies which were overpowered whether they were on a SBR or just a regular attck. 2 dice at 4 is no joke.

    Lastly in regards to Jens Comments I am currious how many times Russia has a Bomber or Rockets? The reason I ask is I have bought a bomber with Russia in atleast 4 games I know of 2 were first round purchases and lets just say that is not advisable. Rockets is giving up atleast 1 tank a round until it is achieved again something Russia is hard pressed to do.



  • @ncscswitch:

    However, if you are going to limit damage to an IC territory for an entire turn, then you also need to consider “Tactical SBR’s” and rocket attacks that could be done against non-IC territories.  Perhaps a per total game turn limit of half of the IPC value of the territory.

    Yeah. Jen’s idea of not allowing 30 IPC damage on a 10 IPC territory turns it into a supply side economic model.

    (While the OOB would be the demand side economic model. That had its problems as the game has no build schedule. All units are built pesudo instantly. So you can’t say Germany IC is working at high capacity hence you can bomb it for 30 IPC while the Southern Europe IC wasn’t even in use hence it can’t be hit for much.)

    Allowing SBR on all territories increases game options and dynamics.
    Some % of the community think axis and allies needs increased options and dynamics. The % is high enough to make variants like AARe popular.

    50% sounds about right.

    And would be nice if we are allowed to undeploy our ICs.



  • IMO the real reason why heavy bombers were nerfed is not really because of double dice on SBRs, but double dice on offense. There is no valid naval counter to heavy bombers, you can always build up offense with heavy bombers at a much higher rate than you can build up defense with navy. Eventually the sea would be clear of all navies with no possible naval action.



  • @Bean:

    IMO the real reason why heavy bombers were nerfed is not really because of double dice on SBRs, but double dice on offense. There is no valid naval counter to heavy bombers, you can always build up offense with heavy bombers at a much higher rate than you can build up defense with navy. Eventually the sea would be clear of all navies with no possible naval action.

    You make a good point, however even 2D6 bombers alone can not rule the sea.  You need cheaper fodder as well as the cost to research and build those Heavy Bombers.

    It is my understanding that Larry Harris despised weapon development and how it came to dominate A&A classic.  Weapons were a part of the war, so I believe Tech was considered a necessity still in Revised.  However, there are no game winning techs any more plus you can only develop one tech a turn.  Roll the dice and win the war mentality was removed.  These down played tech alot.  When Larry was asked his input into LHTR, he further nerfed weapons, HB’s being the biggest to lose it’s power.



  • IMO you don’t need fodder for HBs, just keep building them. The reason for no fodder is that your fodder can get chewed up by opposing navy when they get into range, and also because heavy bombers are just completely cost effective for any kind of navy they encounter. It’s not quite like land war where you need infantry; HBs are simply more efficient per IPC than any unit on defense, so you don’t need fodder.

    The neat thing about AARE is that you can’t just heavy bomber you way through navy because of how subs work; they can’t be attacked by air alone, and because they can convoy raid you into a loss, you do need to find a way to kill them, so you have to build navy yourself, and probably a lot of it to counter a fat stack of super subs. But that’s an aside, this is really about LHTR.



  • @Bean:

    IMO you don’t need fodder for HBs, just keep building them. The reason for no fodder is that your fodder can get chewed up by opposing navy when they get into range, and also because heavy bombers are just completely cost effective for any kind of navy they encounter. It’s not quite like land war where you need infantry; HBs are simply more efficient per IPC than any unit on defense, so you don’t need fodder.

    I agree and disagree.

    Defensive fodder (transports) is alot more affordable than HBs.

    In a realistic example, it would be very cost ineffective for the US to build a fleet of HB’s to take out the IJN, IMHO.  Sure, 10 bombers might be able to sink 2 BBs, 2 loaded A/Cs 2 DD’s and 5 tpts.  That’d take 4, more likely 5 rounds (9 bombers @15) + 4 tech rolls? ($20) = 155.  Notice the minimal Japanese additional investment of my example.

    In theory, I agree it IS possible to do so, but is it one that proves true in actual game play?



  • Yes, but how many more rounds would it take if the US built anything except HBs? Even longer. Pure HBs is the most efficient way to take out the Japanese fleet. Note I didn’t say it was an effective strategy, but I said it is the most efficient way to do it. Building 2 transports instead of an HB for fodder is not a good idea. I’m referring to your previous statement where you said you prefer hbs with some cheaper fodder. I think pure HBS is better. If you build cheap fodder you run the risk of it getting eaten up by fighters or navy since most of your money is in bombers, not defensive fleet.

    You seem to be talking about 2 different things. I was responding to your statement about the Americans needing fodder, and then you started talking about Japanese defensive fodder, which is a totally different subject. Japanese defensive fodder works up to a point because Japan already has a lot of defensive gear, but once the odds even up there is no naval investment that can match the offensive strength of HBs. This is very contrary to land battles where infantry are always the best defensive measure if you have the same IPCs invested.



  • If you are going to take out a navy with HB’s, you want SUBs along to assist and take the initial hits, as well as do some initial damage before they die.



  • No you don’t. Like I said, first of all if you have just a few subs they’re going to get strafed and killed by opposing fighters + carriers. Second, there’s no clear winner between 2 subs vs 1 hb. 2 subs is surely 1 piece more fodder, but the HB is another die at 4. The faster you kill opposing navy the faster their defense rating drops, and navy drops pretty fast and is very expensive to replace.



  • @Bean:

    You seem to be talking about 2 different things. I was responding to your statement about the Americans needing fodder, and then you started talking about Japanese defensive fodder, which is a totally different subject. Japanese defensive fodder works up to a point because Japan already has a lot of defensive gear, but once the odds even up there is no naval investment that can match the offensive strength of HBs.

    well I think you brought up defensive fodder and cost first:

    @Bean:

    HBs are simply more efficient per IPC than any unit on defense, so you don’t need fodder.

    I disagreed with this statement and elaborated.  Again I think this is a game THEORY thingy that works on the chalk board but is almost impossible to implement in a game situation.



  • Sample Battle:
    Defending navy is 3 TRN, 2 SUB, 1 DST, 1 AC, 2 FIG, 1 BB (a pretty typical navy)

    Attacking force of $92 value…
    Option 1:  6 HB’s
    50/50 battle with a VERY slight chance of 1 HB surviving
    67% odds of destroying the enemy

    Option 2:
    4 SUBs, 4 HB’s
    62% Attacker win with 1 or 2 HB’s surviving.
    77% odds of destroying the enemy

    You increase your odds by about 20% by having a mixed force of 4 SUBs/4 HB’s over 6 HBs.

    That is pretty significant in my book…

    By having those 4 attacking/fodder units, you keep more of your HB’s alive longer, and that means they are more effective overall.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I didn’t count but i never think in terms of “who is destroyed” but rather how many IPC do you gain in the exchange from combat loses…so does that result support a gain in net IPC or not?



  • Like I said, first of all if you have just a few subs they’re going to get strafed and killed by opposing fighters + carriers.

    I still haven’t seen a logical answer to my statement.

    And just in case you answer something like well build a carrier, that means less HBs. And you still have the major problem of getting your fodder into range without the enemy navy being able to attack it with their navy. It’s more theorycraft to say to build a few fodder for your hbs than it is to use pure hbs.

    Also to respond once again to Axis Roll:

    n a realistic example, it would be very cost ineffective for the US to build a fleet of HB’s to take out the IJN, IMHO.  Sure, 10 bombers might be able to sink 2 BBs, 2 loaded A/Cs 2 DD’s and 5 tpts.  That’d take 4, more likely 5 rounds (9 bombers @15) + 4 tech rolls? ($20) = 155.  Notice the minimal Japanese additional investment of my example.

    In theory, I agree it IS possible to do so, but is it one that proves true in actual game play?

    I am repeating myself: is there a BETTER way for the Americans to wipe out the J navy? Even if HBs is not possible in actual play, that makes any other strategy even less likely to work.

    5 rounds is not a very long time, in fact most KJF strategies take until round 8 or so before the American navy becomes a dangerous force to contend with.

    Everyone knows that with minimal investment Japan can make an insanely strong defensive navy. That’s very obvious. That doesn’t make the heavy bomber strategy less viable than other anti-navy strategies.



  • @Bean:

    I am repeating myself: is there a BETTER way for the Americans to wipe out the J navy? Even if HBs is not possible in actual play, that makes any other strategy even less likely to work.

    Yes, there’s much better ways to eliminate the IJN.  A sub heavy fleet with some loaded A/C’s for protection.

    Tanks are the most efficient killing unit, so why doesn’t everyone build all tanks?  Because you need cheap fodder (inf) to make it economically viable.

    @Bean:

    Everyone knows that with minimal investment Japan can make an insanely strong defensive navy. That’s very obvious. That doesn’t make the heavy bomber strategy less viable than other anti-navy strategies.

    You were the one contending HB’s were the best.
    My arguement was that they were not the best.

    ANY strategy is VIABLE, especially in theory, which is what you seem to be arguing in.  As I’ve said before, in practicality, buying all HBs to take out the IJN wouldn’t really be a game winning move, IMHO: too costly as well as easy to stop (as you so aptly point out)… it’s not like Japan wouldn’t see it coming either.



  • A sub heavy fleet is not a valid counter to the Japanese navy, because they can always match you sub for sub with superior income. There is no match for the heavy bomber. Eventually heavy bombers will win out in the sea, while the same cannot be said about subs.

    Also, even if you somehow overpower the Japanese with subs, then what? What are your subs going to do on land? I don’t feel that a sub heavy strategy is a good one (maybe in AARE it’s good because of convoy raiding  :lol: ). The Japanese can always run away before your subs hit and then you’re left with 100 IPCs of subs with nothing to do on land. But heavy bombers can also make a huge wreck on land after they’re done cleaning the sea.

    Also, I feel the tank example is invalid, because tanks do not roll 2 at 4. They only roll 1 at 3. That makes a huge difference. There is no infantry unit either in terms of navy, there is no unit that defends at a 2 and is cheap. The “best” thing you can come up with is a destroyer for 12 IPCs that rolls at a 3 against air.

    Economically on land infantry will counter tanks. 30 IPCs of infantry on defense beats 30 IPCs of tanks on offense. However, on sea this no longer holds true. There is nothing that beats heavy bombers IPC for IPC on defense. 1 hb beats 1 destroyer, 1 hb beats 2 transports, there is nothing you can do if you have equal income to defend against heavy bombers except delay for a while. I don’t see why this is so hard to see.

    All that you’re talking about is that you have to overcome the initial inertia of the existing Japanese fleet + investments, but that is true of any anti-navy strategy, you have to overcome a huge bump. I simply think that heavy bombers can easily overcome this bump, even you said yourself it takes 5 times to build up the necessary bombers, while navy heavy takes at least 3 rounds more to become threatening.

    As I’ve said before, in practicality, buying all HBs to take out the IJN wouldn’t really be a game winning move, IMHO: too costly as well as easy to stop (as you so aptly point out)… it’s not like Japan wouldn’t see it coming either.

    And as I’ve said before, I don’t think it’s a game winning move either, but certainly nothing else would work better should one decide to go KJF. Sub heavy or navy heavy is much slower and also the Japanese CAN match you defensively with their income, but with heavy bombers eventually they’ll have to give up or roll for their own heavy bombers to keep the seas clean of all ships.



  • One issue with the HB’s…

    Where are you basing them?

    Remember, they need 1 movement point to leave land.  So it takes 1 to just reach the sea.  Then 2 more to get to the Japan navy.

    Guess what… that leaves those HB’s sitting in range of the Japan Fleet (which probably includes TRNs) for an amphibious attack before those HB’s ever take off for their “kill the Imperial Navy” mission.

    So your anti-sub argument about being taken out before they can act is also valid for the HB’s



  • Long Range Aircraft.



  • Now you are rolling for TWO techs…

    That is a hell of a lot of cash to spend on reasearch, then building your HB’s… all the while Japan and Germany have only UK and USSR fighting them…

    By the time USA gets their HB squadron built to take out the Japan Navy (assuming it sails into range of even LR HB’s… no reason for them to do so…) it is probably going to be all over for the Allies.



  • But as Axis Roll pointed out, building up sufficient heavy bomber squadron is faster than building up a normal KJF navy. It’s only one more turn to finish up the long range aircraft. Unfortunately the Japanese navy does have good reason to wander into HB/LRA range because otherwise they cannot offload anything off of Japan.

    By the time USA gets their HB squadron built to take out the Japan Navy (assuming it sails into range of even LR HB’s… no reason for them to do so…) it is probably going to be all over for the Allies.

    Is this any different than if the US went sub heavy?


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