At first blush, Bombers don’t seem to be too worth the investment due to AAZ’s depressed economy, and the designers choice to eliminate Strategic Bombing as a tool. More importantly, the cost inefficiency for Bombers against Zombies seems to suggest if someone is using large numbers of Bombers to attack, thin, and eliminate Zombie Hordes, the game is already out of hand for the opposing players.
In the grand scheme of things, winning an AA game has always been about preserving mechanized units to leverage advantages in combats. A bomber or fighter lost, is probably a bomber or fighter lost for the entire game, because replacing it is far too costly.
Zombies add a wrinkle, though, that give players time, and create buffers to thin attacking units, decreasing the need to keep bombers, specifically, tucked away safe.
When you think on the Macro level, Bombers make no sense.
But if you think on the micro level, Bombers have been given back the “Strategic Bombing Run” in a more dangerous context.
Because all infantry become Zombies, and because Zombies claim territories and deny IPC production of the territory to a player, using a Bomber to attack a single Infantry may be worth it, especially if the controlling player can’t liberate the zone in a timely fashion.
Take the Phillipines for example. If on J1, Japan attacks the Phils with a Bomber, and kills the trooper, he’s cost the US 2 IPC per turn until the US can Liberate the Phils, and due to the nature of AAZ, that might not ever occur.
Running the numbers:
A single Bomber will kill the Trooper 66% of the time in R1
The bomber will die 33% of the time in R1
11% of the time the trooper takes the bomber down without the bomber doing its job (Boo)
22% of the time the trooper and the bomber trade kills (this is an ok maneuver as long as it costs the bombed country at least 7ish IPC’s)
44% of the time your Bomber takes the trooper, and converts the territory to a Zombie Territory. (yay!)
22% of time you’re going onto the next round. (Ugghhh)
Obviously the longer you spend time in combat, the greater the odds you’re going to see an outcome that you aren’t a fan of, but in gambling terms, taking 66% to potentially cost the US upwards of 20 IPC’s during the game against 12 IPC’s spent to take them is a bet any gambler will take every day and twice on sunday.
Look for situations like this, where you can use a bomber to take a single territory that your opponent would be hard pressed to take back acting as a sort of “strategic bombing run” proxy.