Strategic Bombing Raids Don't Work


  • I have seen a lot of posts about SBRs. They are never a good plan though if the vivtim has AA guns. If you SBR 6 times, you will likely get hit by the 6th one. That means you have done 15 IPCs of damage, but you have lost 15 IPCs as well. That is assuming you get hit only by the last roll - you could get hit by the second - then you’re really pooched, aren’t you? 😢

    In my experience, SBRs don’t help, they hurt the one doing them. Bombers are better used as an attacking piece behind a fodder of infantry. So let’s put to rest forever the whole SBR idea, shall we?

    :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


  • lil’tokyo, you should register

    but if there isnt a AA gun……


  • I agree with you that the expected value of a SBR is not in your favor with one bomber. But often war is not about playing the odds perfectly. If I SBR one turn on Germany with UK, and I do not get shot down, it was well worth it. The axis struggle for money thoughout the game, and sometimes taking just one or two infintry away can turn the tide of a future battle, even if you do lose your bomber eventually. One nice little strat is to only buy bomers with the UK and then SBR Germany every turn. Barring extrem luck you should on average be going in with about 6 bombers and loosing about 1 each turn, now 3.5*5, the expected loss to Germany, is 17.5 and your loss on average will be 15. Now the raid is in your favor and Germany is choking. At this point, the game is pretty much over for the Axis.


  • Well it’s funny you mention the UK mass-SBR of GER, because that is exactly what I am talking about - this strategy will not win, I assure you. I tried it and it fails miserably. If you use, say, 5 bombers on GER in a big SBR each turn, German AA guns WILL hit one of them a turn at least. Whenever I have tried it, in fact, they have actually averaged more like 1.5 per turn on a good day. That’s just too high.

    Plus, with the UK diverting all these resources to the SBR, they are not building a navy, they are not funneling troops to Karelia, none of that. I say Germany will survive your mass SBR raids, even if you do heavy damage for a few turns. Then, once the UK bombers are all dead, GER is back in business money-wise.

    I know in theory it sounds great - bomb the Germans for like 20 bucks per turn, and they will fold. That’s what I thought too. But, it is surprising how long the Germans can hold out even with a piddly income. Only a true long-range plan involving funneling infantry to Karelia can wear the Germans down in the end, in my humble opinion. 😛


  • if you have the US SBRing germany while the UK is supporting karila and building a military……since the US is rolling in money…


  • As mentioned above, a SBR does about 1/6 more damage to the bombee than to the bomber (2.5 IPCs/6 bombers/turn, or .42 IPCs per bomber per turn.) You could even argue that because the allies have a larger IPC base, the effect is even greater when the allies are doing the bombing (the IPC loss felt more by the axis because it is a larger percentage of their IPC gain. So, to make the math easier, let’s say that each bomber hurts the bombee by .5 IPCs compared to the bomber per turn. That means that each bomber gives the bomber a 1 infantry advantage every 6 turns.

    1. Chances are that your returns on that bomber would be greater if it was used in support of an attack. Therefore, you should neve do a SBR (on a site with AA) when that bomber could be doing anything else that is usefull.

    2. In most cases, you’d be better off spending your money on more conventional troops. If 5 extra infantry would allow you to retain a single 1IPC territory you’d get a much higher return on your investment then if you purchased that bomber.

    Of course, there is a time and place for everything, so there are times when SBR can help. I just don’t use them that much.


  • The only time I find them overwhelmingly useful is if the U.S. buys lots of bombers from the start, rolls for heavy bombers and gets them, then flys out of the U.K. against Germany.

    In that scenario I’ve seen Germany losing all their IPCs every round.


  • @CaveDog:

    The only time I find them overwhelmingly useful is if the U.S. buys lots of bombers from the start, rolls for heavy bombers and gets them, then flys out of the U.K. against Germany.

    In that scenario I’ve seen Germany losing all their IPCs every round.

    yeah, but big deal. . .
    all this does is delay the American landing in Germany long enough for Japan to soak Russia for an economic victory.


  • @cystic:

    yeah, but big deal. . .
    all this does is delay the American landing in Germany long enough for Japan to soak Russia for an economic victory.

    True, but not neccissarily always. If the dice go badly for Germany at the outset, the UK can ship in troops to help Russia and that’s where this happens.


  • Hmm, this is my first post so I wonder if I’m posting to have something to say or if this is actually valuable input. 😉

    Anyway. SBR definately has its place. If not in the individual circumstances mentioned above then as a part of a gran scheme. To me it definately seems most useful if you are an Allie and you are using it as a part of a joint-forces strategy. You may need to go into Germany, for example, and do a huge last minute strategic bombing run as the US or UK to help ensure that your Russian comrades can take them apart on their turn.

    I don’t know, its been years since I was a die-hard fan but I play every once in a while and have used SBR against a AA defended territory to great effect.

    Of course, in this game, your best strategy can be destroyed by a bad run of dice rolls.

    plink-plink

    Boo


  • Can a guest post a question?


  • you just did 😉


  • Well I know that they are costly, but just for fun, one game playing the US I decided to dump almost all my coin into bombers… having 7 SBRs hitting Germany every turn pretty much took them out of the game, allowing USSR to overrun them.

    Not that I would do it regularly, but a concerted SBR can have significant impact


  • Where did you come up with the 15ipc damage from the original thread?

    If you sat the average roll of a 6 sided die is a 3 then we need some math lessons. It is 3.5 because you cann’t roll a 0.

    That means you do 18.5 wirth of damage (on average) if yuo get hit on the 6th SBR before you fire. Kinda’ like having 2.3 kids I guess.

    Dan


  • Where did you come up with the 15ipc damage from the original thread?

    If you say the average roll of a 6 sided die is a 3 then we need some math lessons. It is 3.5 because you cann’t roll a 0.

    That means you do 18.5 wirth of damage (on average) if yuo get hit on the 6th SBR before you fire. Kinda’ like having 2.3 kids I guess.

    Dan


  • As is so often the case, SUD is correct. 😉 A slightly more succinct way of putting it would be that SBRs are a gamble, but the gamble sometimes pays off. The key is the gamblers’ credo: never gamble what you don’t want to lose. If you can’t afford to lose a BMR–don’t SBR! For instance, I like the idea of using both the Japan & Germany BMRs early in the game to joint SBR USSR. Your starting BMRs cost you nothing & if you don’t hurt USSR early, then you may never! Try flying the Japan BMR to Western Europe afterwards. The opportunity to do even more damage with it later may present itself…

    On the other hand, I dislike the strategy of buying all BMRs for a turn and using them to SBR. This is a big investment and if you lose the BMRs, you lose big. Plus you may find an opportunity to invade a territory wasted later due to insufficient manpower. Vs. the opportunity to sieze a territory, SBRing loses big. Think INF first, SBR waay later…

    Basically consider SBRing tactically, not strategically. Do it on a turn by turn basis and when the situation changes, cancel it. I believe strategic bombing is only worth it in situations where the target is vulnerable; that is, when they need every last dime to get what they need for the next turn. Germany is usually in such a state. Any power that is losing ground & falling back defensively may also be vulnerable. What you DON’T want to do is rely on a strategy of SBRs to win you the game. You may win some spectacular victories, but the strategy will eventually fail more often than it succeeds…

    If you’ve got Rocket Power, the situation changes somewhat. Small SBRs on the same power you are Rocketing yield bigger dividends than normal due to the additional rocket damage. Consider this fact before moving…

    Ozone27


  • boming raids work very well for every ipc that germany loses thats one ipc the ruskies wont be fighting against.


  • Ah’m waiting for TG Moses VI to speak up about the evils of SBR.

    He should know, KA-BOOM! His evil sister(?) did it to him several times,
    if my perusal of these records was correct 😛 .


  • I’m not sure why you guys keep talking about how much damage the bomber would do by the 6th turn. On average, it’ll die on the 3.5th turn. And doing 3.5 damage per turn, means that it will inflict 12.25 IPC of bombing cost, not 15, or 18.5 or whatever.

    Well, that’s just my 12.25 cents anyway.


  • Averaging, Kev, averaging!
    And I don’t think 12.25 fits the bill.
    If you atttack and average 3.5 IPCs in three turns your opponent will lose 10 or 11 IPCs. Whereas he will lose 14 IPCs by turn 4.
    As you didn’t buy the BMR it.

    Oh, ****! Where are those stats again? :roll:


  • The probability for not get a hit from an AA gun during 6 runs is actually a bit more then 33% so I think that’s a risk well worth to take.


  • Kev, actually, it’s incorrect to say the bomber will die by the 3.5th turn. There is only a 16.67 % chance to lose a bomber. The best assumption to make is if you send 6 bombers you lose 1. Each bomber does on average 3.5 IPC times 5 bombers means statistically you can do 17.5IPC for each 15IPC you spend on bombers. I’ve written computer simulations where the attacker starts with 6 bombers, builds a bomber then does an attack with the intial 6 bombers against a IC with an AA. I ran 10, 000 trials and the average IPC total was 17.48 IPCs. Take from that what you may.

    BB


  • My brothers and I play a lot of A&A (online) and we have noticed that we get a lot of 5’s and almost never lose a bomber. I bet 3 of 4 rolls are 5’s. I have seen 1,3,6 only a few times in maybe 500 SBR’s and have seen only slightly more 2 & 4’s. We have had to limit the total numbers of bombers owned by a country because they never get hit and do way to much damage.

    Anyone else encounter this problem (well it’s not a problem when you are the one doing the bombing)?


  • The more dice your roll the more the odds work out to an even distribution. There is no magic or supernatural force, in time the odds work out. If you count on ‘dice’ to win then you never lose by somebody else’s superiour strategy, you merely always lose because of dice. Good players rarely win or lose based on the dice rolls.

    BB


  • I don’t want to be rude, but I can pretty much gurantee you that if you rolled 500 times for AA that about 1/6 of your bombers died. The ones that made it through did almost exactly 3.5 IPC’s of damage per bomber. If you want to bet that 3 of 4 of your rolls are 5’s. I will give you 100 to 1 , we can roll 500 times, and I would put every dime I own on it.

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