• Now let the person HAS played quite a few of these games chime back in.

    Buying 2 AA guns with Russia is a completely horrible idea.

    That is 2 armor when Russia desperately needs those two armor. I have had the Allies bring in additional AA guns and I have either flown around them or judged the potential damage to Russia worth the risk and went ahead and flew right on over them. And as Jenn did point out those AA guns have to be protected. Russia cannot afford to lose a fighter over a trade territory.

    To the point of the reduced Japanese ground forces. I have found it has very little effect. Japan has about what it normally has on the front lines. With the bombers it has increased flexible offensive units to expand its area with, which is something it normally lacks.

    In both Axis’s and eumanies’s arguments Russia has some super strong army in Asia halting Japanese expansion that I have yet seen.

    From what I have seen so far is the Allies HAVE to consolidate and supplement their fleets in the Atlantic to even survive. They then have to ferry units to Russia to make good their losses to keep the Japanese out. This means less pressure on Germany. So far no American fleet has been more than a periphery annoyance. Perhaps liberating New Zealand and Australia but that is it. The ones that have come closer have been sunk.

    Again I have not been able to develop an Allied response to this yet. I can say for a fact that surrounding Russia with AA guns is no silver bullet.

  • i think aabigdog and jen you both just have different experiences, or “data sets” in terms of what occurs on the asian front than others in this discussion do.  It’s probably a function of opponents and play style, but in my games japan gets squeezed very hard for a significant amount of time, rather than the all out KGF that is closer to normal in the games and examples you’re citing.  Examples include jen’s expectation of a retreat from buryatia and india, as compared to my expectation of pushing hard on those fronts.  The bomber strat no doubt works better in the former case.  Part of this might also be the bid of a transport for japan, which i do think is a bit much (certainly more than i’d ever expect) and probably colors the experience.

    Axis has already addressed the first of these two expectation differences but I’ll make them again:

    1. the aa’s positioned in asia covering the east asia front presuppose there’s no back and forth conflict there for several turns.  In our games, there typically isn’t.

    2. for the allied fleets in the atlantic, i think your expectations (and aabigdog’s opponents) are simply mistaken.  allied fleets need to be capable of killing expensive german bombers and fighters, not of keeping all their transports safe no matter what.  1 destroyer & 2 transports is FINE against 2 bombers.  1 destroyer and 4 transports is FINE against 3 bombers.  It seems crazy, but the defender wins more often then not and germany (which can least afford it) loses at least as much value as the US.  What has essentially happened is the us builds a high volume of useful transports, and if they get attacked it’s not the end of the world and a few ground forces get delayed, and if they don’t, you use them.   Finally, as axis pointed out, where you land the bombers makes all the difference in whether they can threaten the US or prep for effective SBR runs.

    anyway, while it’s only one of multiple reasonable responses to the SBR strategy, i’m certain building 2 aa’s is not a game breaker build for russia on turn 3.

    also, jen, while i’m not banking on any aa guns from eastern us, it actually makes perfect sense to move the us aa gun to eastern canada on turn 1 in every game.  it’s no use at home and you never know when you might want to or have extra space to ship it over.

    finally, on the disagreement about probablities – rounding is probably not something you want to do until you get your final answer… at the end 8.7 or 10.2 is not a whole $ value, so then you round to 9 or 10.  But I gurantee if you bomb with 3 bombers 100 times in various games, you will on average cause 9 damage, not 10.  (as a simple example, consider 2 bombers – one rolling a 3 and the other a 4, = 7, /2 = 3.5… and suddenly the average damage was 3.5.  Go figure!  Fractions happen in real life).

    p.s.  i just can’t bring myself to learn how to work the aabattlemap system withposting on the forum and separate die rolling and all that, but if either of you guys ever wants to try this on gametable.com, i’d be open to it. While I can’t give you the extra transport in the environment, I could simulate a reasonable bid bonus for the axis by walling off $3-5 away from russia that i would hold but never spend, or something like that.  The idea would not be for me to test a rigid strategy like always building 2 aa guns (i might or might not depending on situation), but I’m pretty sure I could demonstrate the asian experience japan should be contending with given those builds.

  • eumaies if you would be willing to try a game here on the forums I would be glad to walk you through it. Basically you post what your moves are, roll the dice via the forum, post the results and your non combat moves and then attach the map. Battlemap “does” absolutely nothing. It is merely a virtual game board.

    I did try to play a game with you at gametable and honestly I do not like the program for the same reason I do not like tripleA. I find that looking at such a small view of the map reminds me of playing drunk with one eye open and I play about as well.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Let’s clarify, in a Kill Japan First game, this is not an ideal solution.

    Generally speaking, you will know it is a Kill Japan First game at the end of Russia 1, definitely by the end of England 1 against MOST opponents. (I do not follow the traditional path for KJF, I like to make my opponents feel that it is a traditional KGF in the first round only making the first KJF move with America 1.)

    So, if you follow my traditional method of SBR potential against Russia (note, POTENTIAL, not ONLY OPTION) you have purchased 5 Infantry, Fighter, Bomber (possibly 2 armor instead of the fighter, I just happen to enjoy having that 6th or 7th fighter for use against the Allied fleets, stops them from uniting in SZ 8 or 12 pretty effectively (5 Fighters, 2 Bombers, Transport, Battleship and possibly surviving members of the SZ 5 fleet which I have “unBaltic” moved. See Caspian Sub Paper on the Unbaltic.  Sometimes it is Submarine to SZ 3, Submarine to SZ 7 and Submarine, Transport, Destroyer to SZ 6 (BB by Gibraltar sunk with Transport/Battleship instead of using the SZ 12 submarine. and yes, there are likely to be fighters in that battle.))

    So if the allies do go KJF, you are not locked into bombers for Japan nor have you wasted any money for Germany. (I’ve never heard of aircraft for Germany being called a waste.  Possibly bombers are not your thing, but I happen to enjoy their immense flexibility and the amount of trouble they can cause for the allies.)

    To be honest, that 3rd bomber for me usually comes on Germany 3, possibly on Germany 2 if things are going well.  Japan is almost always Japan 3 for the two bomber build (since this is when Japan is earning 40+) but again, it could happen on Japan 2 if the allies are bone-heads allowing me to expand faster than normal.

    If you start moving AA Guns from England/America on Round 3, it’s round 6+ before they are in place.  And they are really expensive to use effectively.

    Honestly, the only hope I see for the allies is for America to do a super job liberating Africa, England to do an amazing job dumping units into Russia to use keeping Japan back (by liberating Russian territories, Russia can focus on taking German ones, increasing Russia’s income that much more instead of sapping it) and Russia, as I just mentioned, storming Germany.

    But the Axis have an easy counter to this as well.  By taking Karelia very, VERY strong, you can stop England from reinforcing Russia.  I’d even go so far as to not liberate W. Russia if I needed too (Ukraine can be liberated from Balkans by units that cannot make it to Karelia anyway).

  • you see, there we go.  now we agree perfectly when considering a KJF strategy.  all a big misunderstanding.

    so aabigdog, i might get on one of these days.  let me review some technical detail questions with you:

    1. i have to learn how to use the battlemap graphics so i can change maps and send them (doesn’t seem too hard)
    2. i have to be able to use some kind of die rolling web tool, right?  or is it manual?  plz let me know what the link is.  (also, this is an honor system, right?)
    3. and then i just have to type in each of the moves i made (and the results of each combat round?) on the forum back and forth.

    how long do games usually take this way?

  • Abattlemap is dirt simple. Consider it like a real game board and the little tool box as trays of pieces. To add units click on what you want in the tray and then click where you want it on the map. Shift-click is in increments of 5, Ctrl-click is in increments of 10. To move existing pieces on the map click on them and drag them. Shift-click and ctrl-click apply in the same way here. Shift-Ctrl-click is the whole stack. Up at the top right click on DEL to bring up a crosshair to delete units. Again Shift, Ctrl, and Shift-Ctrl apply as above. We use the control markers as Money in Saudi and turn indicators in the Sahara.

    The dice are rolled right here on the forum

    So for say 3 INF and 1 FGT you would type
    ;3@1 1@3;

    Except you replace the ; with :
    and get
    :3@1 1@3:

    As far as how long games take they can go pretty fast if both parties are online and posting their turns back and forth. With me you can expect it to go on for a few weeks as I am only online Friday through Sunday and Holidays.

  • Doh messed up on the dice roll, it is
    ;aaa 3@1 1@3;

    Rolls: 3@1 1@3; Total Hits: 23@1: (5, 6, 1)1@3: (3)

  • Rolls: 1@6; Total Hits: 11@6: (6)

    neat (if this works)

    at some time when i have time i’ll probably give this a try.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I have to admit, the thing that makes Battlemap my favorite, even over using the real board, is how simple it is.  Sure, the graphics are really old school, but so what?

    If you run into any problems with battlemap, eumaies, feel free to PM me.

  • cool, thanks for the tips, folks.

    worst part is probably those little details that require back and forth interaction, like establishing the axis bid bonus… but i’ll give it a try sometime.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Frood has a feature you can use to do a blind bid.  Just create a game and submit a bid, your opponent gets an email with a link in it to submit his (or her) bid and the frood server will randomly pick one of you two if the bids match or tell you who had the lowest bid, what the amount was, and where the units are to be placed.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Okay, so latest game, with the strategy.

    Germany bought 5 Infantry, Fighter, Bomber on Round 1.  Combats were:

    Egypt (with bid units and a fighter from Balkans) which was won with Infantry, 2 Armor, Fighter because I got lucky. (I expected to win with 1 or 2 armor and the fighter.  Seems reasonable given the 9 Defensive Punch vs 11 Offensive Punch.)

    SZ 13: No brainer, Transport/Battleship, Fighter form W. Europe, Fighter from Norway, fighter from Germany - killed the Battleship without loss (he even failed to hit my battleship, not that it would have mattered.)

    Ukraine: He won with an armor and some fighters, so I sent a pair of infantry from Balkans and the fighter from E. Europe, liberated iwth Infantry, Fighter.

    Gibraltar taken, but only because I didn’t want the RAF on me. (Infantry from S. Europe.)

    Okay, so those are all given battles.  No one even questions that since it happens in every game.  Here’s where things diverge a bit.

    Germany stacked the crud out of Karelia.

    • Infantry, Armor from W. Europe
    • 2 Infantry from Belarus
    • 2 Infantry, Armor from E. Europe
    • Armor from Balkans
    • 2 Armor from Germany
    • 3 Infantry from Norway

    He had a single defender to stop a blitz of Arkhangelsk.  It missed.  So Germany had 8 Infantry, 5 Armor in Karelia effectively stopping any British reinforcements from landing in Arkhangelsk and surviving to see another day.

    Meanwhile, the German fleets broke up.  Submarine from SZ 5 to SZ 3 (Stops bring AA Guns to Russia too); Submarine from SZ 12 to SZ 8 (Stops invasion of W. Europe), Submarine, Destroyer from SZ 5 to SZ 7 (Because I can and allies seem to go mentally insane when you threaten a fleet unification, throwing away perfectly usable air units for worthless ships.)

    Japan followed this with a pretty standard build on Round 1. (I never advocated buying bombers with Japan round 1, that was A44.  I happen to like to wait for round 2 since by that point, I have transports roaming around getting infantry off islands and I don’t need to build ground units since I have no method of transport anyway.)

    Japan hit Pearl light getting out with only the loss of a submarine.  SZ 59 was cleared again without loss.  China was taken without loss as was Buryatia. (India was ignored this time.)  I didn’t take Hawaii round 1 because I gave the bid to Germany instead.  Normally I would have taken Hawaii as well since this drops America by 3 fighters before they get a turn, which I feel is significant. (Bid would be Transport in SZ 50 to bring the extra two men and then you’d have to go Pearl Heavy so you can have the fighter to assist. For those counting, that would be 3 Infantry, Armor, Fighter vs 2 Infantry, Fighter.)

    Russia scrambled to get his troops online.  Germany decided to go with the 3rd bomber and unified the fleet in SZ 13. (Submarine, Destroyer, Transport, Battleship.)  The other submarines were sunk, allies unified in SZ 8.

    From here on out, Russia was bombed by no less than two bombers per round, averaging about 4 IPC in damage each.  Germany lost the first bomber on round 5, 2 bombers on round 6 (Germany had purchased one this round which was placed in Germany to be used later) but Russia fell on Japan 6.

    Japan after round 3 had 3 bombers going as well.

    I mention this game today, because I was talking to my buddies about the AA Gun defense.  They tried it.  They ended up finally getting the British gun to Caucasus on Round 3, it was captured on Round 4.  The Russians built two guns on Russia 3 so they could have a gun in Kaz and another in Novo.  Neither helped. (Primarily because Germany took Caucasus on Round 3 allowing the Japanese to fly over Caucasus with two bombers and the third went to go to combat since Russia is only worth 8 IPC.)

    From round 3 onward, Russia never had more than 12 IPC to spend on units.  England and America were so desperate to get units to Russia they tried just about everything.  They did eventually get off Norway, but not before Caucasus was firmly in Germany’s hands. (At which point, Germany went 100% turtle mode.)

    The allies were smart enough NOT to attack the SZ 13 fleet realizing that Russia was in dire straights right away and seeing the SZ 13 fleet for what it was, a distraction to slow the Allies down. (I didn’t really care about Africa, so I did not use the submarine to stop the British from attacking me with their carrier, submarine, transports, and RAF. They didn’t anyway, and I just ended up using the transport to feed units to help take Caucasus faster.)

    Now, I am not now, nor have I ever said, this is a game breaking strategy.  I am saying it is viable, it does work and it can be done quite effectively.

    Furthermore, I am saying that there is no possible way for the allies to win if the Russians start buying AA Guns.  Even as little as two guns.  They don’t have the cash for it, not once they start getting bombed.  And if they don’t get the guns early enough, then they are not worth getting at all.  And if they do go for them early enough to make them somewhat useful, then it is too soon for the allies to make up for the lack of units with increased reinforcements.

    I’m sorry, I know there are some who really want the Double Down AA Gun thing to be a viable counter.  It just is not.  You cannot both get the guns in a timely manner AND prevent Russia from falling.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    That said, we did play a second game with the roles reversed.

    Russia was a bit more jonny on the spot this time, IMHO.  Instead of just taking W. Russia and Ukraine, I also went for Belorussia…daring, I know, but considering my standard opening since September this year (with a few exceptions) has been to take Norway, Ukraine and W. Russia, I thought this was pretty conservative of me.

    This was followed up with a strong American attack on Africa. (For some reason they decided throwing away the German fleet was ill advised.  They also decided on two tanks instead of the fighter I bought.)

    And finally, England went on the offense by dumping units into Arkhangelsk. (They did not stack Karelia like I did, they went straight for Caucasus which, to be honest, is more traditional.)

    This Allied Tri-Fecta DID end up saving Russia.  But only because England was dumping 20+ IPC of units into Moscow each round which meant the 5-12 IPC Russia was collecting was enough.

    Eventually the Americans were able to move a large stack into Persia and from there, it was down hill for the axis.

    Thus, by anecdotal evidence (not the best, but hey, we only have one day to play, and I had to get online here to post my rounds against Mollari in our AARe game too!) it seems that the only good defense against the bomber play is a well coordinated offense with England picking up the slack for missing Russian units and American staying focused on the over all objective of moving in against Germany and Japan through the middle east.

    BTW, yes, I know, it takes forever to walk to Persia.  But since I had to go through Africa anyway to keep England’s income up, it was the only viable solution.  Otherwise, England would not have had the resources needed to send units to Russia and liberate Russian lands. (Which btw, is a great way to keep Russia’s income from going to Zero since they can now use their fighters taking German lands instead of liberating Russian lands!)

  • jen, thanks for posting the games.

    you’re continuing to compare apples to oranges regarding the whole aa gun things.  I completely agree you shouldn’t build 2 bombers on turn 1 for japan, but then you can’t go around and cite this debate when you don’t do that.

    I mean no offense to aabigdog’s posted strategy – it’s aggressive and interesting, but different from what you did.

    The original aa-gun idea was a response to aabigdog’s strategy, which was pretty extreme on one end, and so buying 1-2 aa guns was a pretty extreme, interesting, and useful response.

    In your game, japan played a more conservative game and actually put alot more pressure on asia because of it, which would’ve made aa guns in novo, etc a bad move to make.

    so please don’t put strategies in our mouths 🙂

    On the flip side, i have no bones with judicious use of bombers.  you played a balanced strategy, it worked against that opponent, so kudos for you!

    … but when you start tossing around “the only way to counter this” kind of language, I of course am going to disagree with you.  It’s not even clear what you’re defining “this” as!  (but if you want to suggest a specific move, build order and approach that is more balanced, plz do so in another thread and I’d be happy to debate countermoves).

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Ah, and that’s where the confusion happened.  I had thought you meant to put 2 AA Guns out with Russia the instant you saw the Axis with 4+ bombers regardless of what turn it was to “stop the bombing” and I was sitting here going, “like hell it will stop the bombing, it’ll only cause you to bleed faster.”

    I don’t know if 2 AA Guns on Russia 2 with all of Japan’s money going to bombers on Japan 1 would work.  I suspect, deeply so, that it would not since Japan cannot get bombers to Moscow anyway the round after they are built unless they happen to own a territory next to Moscow (like if Germany owns Arkhangelsk or West Russia.)

    The other issue is when people take my counter arguments and accuse me of “morphing them” or don’t fully read and understand what I am actually saying.

    For instance, German bombers having no cost does not mean they don’t take IPC to build, it means their utility more than balances the financial cost.

    Lastly, we have to remember that just because you originally wanted to go on a bombing spree of Moscow and Stalingrad does not mean you will actually do it.  If the allies scatter a bunch of unprotected submarines all over the Pacific and Atlantic in range of your bombers, what the hell, go for them instead, bigger return on investment! (It’s a stupid example, I picked it because only an idiot would scatter 6 submarines where the bombers could get them and shoot without risk of being shot down themselves.  It’s only meant to demonstrate that sometimes better objectives for those bombers exist.)

  • What’s this?  An agreement has been reached, and the whole heated debate was a simple misunderstanding?  I thought it was quite clear we were commenting on Japan buying bombers r1, and russia and the allies responding r2.  :?

    Anyway, as far as the game that proves the theory, dont know how germany captured Caucus r3. Bad dice? russian errors? This can happen I guess if the Russian player over-extends themselves, like in a Russian triple attack r1. But typically, things have had to go real wrong for germany to have sacked Cauc r3.

  • yeah, well in jen’s defense aabigdog initially referenced jen’s previous arguments for general high-bomber use and SBR, before posting his own specific strat that axis and i were responding to.  so she might have jumped to the conclusion that we were critiquing all uses of axis bombers for bombing.

    funny story, i played a way-too-long game of axis last night that relates to all this discussion of planes.  My Russia had a terrible round 1 opening, losing 1 plane and all other troops in this ukraine attack (3tanks, 3 inf, 1 art, 2 fighters vs german 3 inf, 1art, 1 tank, 1 fighter) while the german won with 1 fighter, 1 tank, and a artillery alive. I note that only to justify why the game took so long to win 🙂

    Anyway my opponent was very good and played well with both axis.  As germany, he went heavy on bombers (built 2 through the course of the first 2-3 turns, and another later when 1 was destroyed) and mostly infantry.  He didn’t put the squeeze on russia right away with these builds, but they set up a great long term push with very efficient land swaps.  As Japan, he responded to my KJF moves with a 3 transport build, and by dominating china and the british navy but leaving the us intact, while also guarding his fleet.

    Anyway, the game lasted a long time, and involved early IPC in india for me, and then later one in sinkiang (and then later, china) when the opportunities were ripe.  Russia committed the initial 8 infantry against japan and eventually a tank and occasional fighter support, but not much else.  The game took so long because the us and britain maintained  a really precarious balance against japan in asia, while countering but not stopping germany for an equally long time.  The japanese counter-moves were among the best and most careful I have played against.

    Eventually, german pressure forced the allies to shift back focus to europe, and after a long drawn out fight germany fell 2 turns ahead of when japan might have been able to take moscow.

    Anyway, having spared you most of the details, I noticed in this example a couple things related to this discussion:

    1. German bombers certainly are worthwhile, with a wide variety of uses, both threatening and fighting.  I would certainly agree (and always have) they can be worthwhile builds.  On the other hand, I still only had to build 1 UK carrier (along with the starting 1 UK battleship and 2 US destroyers in the area) to effectively defend my initially north-focused us and british transports.  The german player can’t actually afford to waste his 3 bombers attacking 4 trannies and a destroyer adjacent to england (back side).    The big air force does force the allies to be very careful around africa, but only so long as the german fighters can all afford to stay in western europe (a long time, but not without cost as then they can only be used against karelia effectively in land fights).  Any fighters landed in carriers are also not wasted, as the can assist in attacks.

    2. A good KJF set of moves is really challenging for the japanese player to counter in any rapid way, and in this example the opponent used transport builds followed by troops builds to hold his own to the best extent he could and eventually win through after at least 7 turns (though the game was over before india could fall).  So bomber builds obviously wouldn’t have been the right option for him in this case, which supports my sense that keeping japan “honest” and unable to invest in bombers and land them safely in asia is another way to negate any bomber-driven threat.

    I’ll post another thread with my KJF opening moves and would be interested to hear opinions on best counters.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The reason Caucasus fell so hard is because he basically surrendered South Europe to defend against the German push along the North.  That’s just my opinion.

    My Axis was a SBR campaign coupled with a tank dash.  You may play it differently.

    Also, I fully agree, Kill Japan First is an extremely effective method to protect Russia and win the game.  Many players have gone to Kill Germany First because it can be a no-brainer.  It can be difficult and you can still lose, but over all, the procedure for KGF is pretty formulaic…

    Then again, KJF can become formulaic as well if people start doing it often.  I do remember Switch going off on me for months on how KJF was so impossible…I finally forced him to play a game against me and he surrendered by Round 5. He refused a rematch to confirm KJF was not only possible, but against someone who had, for all I know, only defended against KGF, very effective.

  • yeah, it’s easy to get into a rut in this game and focus only on a few potential approaches and lose the knack for the others 🙂

  • I also agree a KJF is very attainable.

    And i buy a German bomber r1 95% of my games now. Not only is the threat to allied shipping very useful, but the range is extremely useful as well in swapping russian territory, and still make France your home base. Fighters cannot reach all of the dead zone in eastern europe and make it back to France. I dont SBR with german bombers though, unless im almost ready to crack moscow, they are just too valuable.

  • Bumping this so newer players can see it.

    I still stand by everything I said in this thread. As with any other strategic discussion I do, my posts are based on observations. I am sure anyone new to this and reading it will notice the 3 pages of “opinions” not backed up by testing.

    Also it it seems that every time the topic of Strategic Bombing comes up it gets into a cost analysis. I can say again from experience, this is a bad way to view things. Just because I may have spent say 60 IPCs with Japan in bombers it does not mean I have to do 60 IPCs in damage to Russia for it to “break even”. The units Russia it is not able to produce and the necessity for Allied assistance negates this.  Also with a strategy like this that is unorthodox there is the added benefit of confusion on your opponents part in how to counter it.

  • @a44bigdog:

    Bumping this so newer players can see it.

    Thanks for bumping it.  I read it, and looked at a couple of your games when you have used it.  It certainly looks like a viable strategy, but for some reason, I have always been too risk averse to SBRs.  Perhaps it is irrational, but I always seem to find a better, risk free, use for the bomber unit in normal attacks.

    Also, there is always something about SBRs that did not sit right with me as a game mechanic.  It is completely luck based, and you cannot really defend against it by stacking forces, etc.  You just have the AA gun, which is such a crapshoot, though I suppose that buffering zones with AA guns could in theory work.

    Looking at it, if you do want to station additional AA guns, you would need 4 or 5 more.  Depending on where Japan puts its bombers, you only need 2 in east, Kazakh and Novo (if Japan puts bombers in Bury, just shift an AA to Evenki).  In the west, you need AAs in Arch and WR.  You can’t protect Cauc because of the sea zone, and it is only 4 damage max anyway.  I don’t know how well USSR and other allies would be able to protect those territories, but it seems like they would have a shot at it due to the heavy air buildup by the Axis resulting in fewer ground forces.

    It’s worth trying in a game, if I can put down my aversion to the diceyness of SBRs.

  • I would recommend giving it a try as I find the number of useful Axis strategies to be rather limited and they do tend to get old after a while.

    A few things to keep in mind and this applies to any SBR campaign. Bombers are bought to bomb with. There will be losses to AA and there will be rounds where they do not do much damage. That is just part of it, however with regard to the lost bombers that is what they are being bought for. There is a big difference in a dedicated SBR campaign and just sending out a starting bomber to do SBRs. The last will leave a bad taste in your mouth as the loss of that one bomber really hurts. Also as was mentioned several times on the preceding pages, just because one is buying bombers, and conducting an SBR campaign, that does not mean the bombers can not be used to convincingly win a Naval or Land battle.

    And I should have re-read this before the last time I used it, as I made a complete mess out of Japan with my transports and got myself all out of position.

    Also to all the new players here. There are a lot of good strategies buried here in the Revised section, and I would highly recommend browsing through the old posts to find them. While some are better than others, I find it is quite nice to have a “bag of tricks” so to speak to pull things out of and break up what can become a stale approach to AAR.

  • '16 '15 '10

    This seems like it could work with favorable rolls.  But particularly in a nt scenario, I would share eaten’s concerns about this being rather dicey.  2 bombers for Germany G1 and G2 are nice tactically for keeping the Allies from landing early….but not buying the 10 inf one could have bought might cost Axis down the line when it comes time to lurch for Russia.  If BOTH Axis are buying bombers, if the Allies player is experienced I wonder if Axis will be strong enough to penetrate a Russian stack reinforced by Allied landings.

    This strategy will be much more effective in the new Spring 42 version, where bombing Russia to oblivion will probably be a bread and butter tactic.

    Worth a try in any case!

  • @a44bigdog:

    Bombers are bought to bomb with. There will be losses to AA and there will be rounds where they do not do much damage. That is just part of it, however with regard to the lost bombers that is what they are being bought for.

    good read, a44bigdog.  i also agree my “break even” idea is not best.  i’d like to propose 2 statistics for reasoning about SBR: bomber lifetime, and damage over lifetime.

    it appears that most of the reasoning is over probability of being shot down (1/6), and expected bomber damage given the bomber survives AA (3.5 IPCs), but those are not as useful numbers for reasoning about an SBR campaign.

    these are more reasonable metrics IMO since you are buying bombers for the primary purpose of bombing.  yes, as jen points out, you can use the bombers for other purposes other than SBR.  you can also use them to win land or navy battles (direct damage).  you can also use them to forcing US/UK to buy a carrier or other capital ship (indirect strategical effects).  you can also use them to prevent unescorted transports to the karela sea zone (indirect tactical effects).  these are hard to quantify, so let’s just consider that flexibility a bonus.


    1. each bomber will endure 1 and exactly 1 AA shot on each SBR.  if the allies position AA guns so a bomber would take 2 or more shots, the the bomber does something else other than SBR.
    2. an axis power shall have 3 bombers for SBR.  2 bombers shall SBR moscow or UK, with a max combined damage of 8.  1 bomber shall SBR caucus with a max damage of 4.  the axis powers could station a single SBR base in EE to hit all 3 targets.

    bomber lifetime
    let the lifetime of a bomber be the random variable N.  from assumption (1), the probability of a bomber being shot down on exactly the Nth SBR is
    p(N=n) = (1/6) * (5/6)^(n-1)     for n>=1

    n p(N=n)
    1 0.1667
    2 0.1389
    3 0.1157
    4 0.0965
    5 0.0804
    6 0.0670
    7 0.0558
    8 0.0465
    9 0.0388
    10 0.0323
    11 0.0269
    12 0.0224
    13 0.0187

    or, to phrase the distribution a different way, here’s the probability of a bomber successfully completing n or more SBRs before being shot down.  
    P(N>=n) = (5/6)^n      n>=1

    n p(N>=n)
    1 0.8333
    2 0.6944
    3 0.5787
    4 0.4823
    5 0.4019
    6 0.3349
    7 0.2791
    8 0.2326
    9 0.1938
    10 0.1615
    11 0.1346
    12 0.1122
    13 0.0935

    i’m only interested in the first moment (mean) of this distribution, and it can be shown that the expected value is E[N] = 6.  so each bomber is shot down on the 6th SBR on average, so it makes 5 successful SBRs on average.  yes, i know it can be shot down in the first round, but it is equally likely that the bomber is shot down on the 11th or higher round.  so i’m sticking with 5 successful SBR per bomber.

    SBR damage over lifetime
    let’s consider caucus first, since that’s easy.  let the damage to caucus given a successful SBR be C.  it can be shown that the average result E[C] = 3.0.  
    c P(C=c)
    1 0.1667
    2 0.1667
    3 0.1667
    4 0.5000

    now let’s consider the damage moscow/UK, which is will be the random variable W.  if we send only 1 successful bomber, then E[W] = 3.5.

    if we send 2 successful bombers, then E[W] = 6.44
    w P(W=w)
    2 0.0278
    3 0.0556
    4 0.0833
    5 0.1111
    6 0.1389
    7 0.1667
    8 0.4167

    the caucus bomber will do an average damage of 3/round and will survive for 5 rounds.  therefore, the caucus bomber is expected to deliver 3*5=15 IPCs worth of damage over it’s lifetime.  that means for each bomber purchased to SBR caucus, the russians should expect to lose 15 IPCs.  a $ for $ trade is advantageous.

    the moscow/UK bombers will do an average damage of 3.27/round each and will also survive for 5 rounds.  therefore, the moscow/UK bombers are expected to deliver 5*3.27 = 16.34 IPCs worth of damage over their lifetimes.  that means for each bomber purchased to SBR moscow/UK, the allies should expect to lose 16.34 IPCs.  this is better than $ for $.

    so this seems like a perfectly viable long term strategy.  if you couple this with the bonuses mentioned earlier, this becomes very tough for the allies.

    IMO, the best defense for the allies would be to work out a 2+ AA route against one of the bomber bases.  we’ll have 4 AA defending russian territories–2 under R control and 2 under UK control.  can’t afford more than 4.  and 4 can really help slow the bleeding.

    move the india AA gun to caucus, and move the UK gun to moscow.  the UK AA gun can be replaced by the EUS AA gun.  the russians would then position their AA pair to take away at least one japanese bomber base.

    for the japs the 3 most likely bomber bases are bury, china, india.  evenki/novo defends against bury.  kaz/novo defends against china.  kaz defends against india.  if the japs spread out and have 2+ bomber bases, then the only thing russia can do is just block the base with the most bombers.  can’t block everything without a 3rd AA, and russia can’t afford it.  for the germans, the most likely bomber base is EE.  arch/WR defends against EE.

    if the russians get into the position where they are trading these territories (evenki/novo/kaz/arch/WR), then they’re screwed.  they can’t afford to leave an AA gun there, so there will be at least 1 bomber base that does not have a 2+ AA defense.  the russians are probably screwed anyways if they are trading territories next to moscow.


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