Air Mechanics/Combat/Mission "Quick" Guide.

Air Mechanics/Combat/Mission "Quick" Guide.

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sterrius

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Jan 18, 2009
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EDIT: 5/11 -> This guide is right now outdated. You still can get some info here but look at it with a grain of salt. A Updated (and better to read) version will be made when PDX fixes/change air combat like it works right now.


EDIT: Xtcor did a nice job making this guide (and other 2 good guides) much better to read and view. The link to this version is in the link below. (Air combat start at page 26).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzLOehWwWQepZ3dKU2M2amxGbE0/view


EDIT: Im placing some new info on pag3 of this topic. I wil update here later.
Edit: 18/06 -> NEw info about airports added. Go to the end of the guide. There is a quote there made by Less2

This guide aim is to help all new players to understand even if just a little more how air combat works behind the scenes and explain WHY they are losing.

yes, its a very large text and believe me, i was very very specific and talked fast about a lot of things to make this a "Quick" guide.

Its by no means a complete guide. The focus is Ground support and air combat.
I will give a Air Analysis of Naval bombers and Strategic bombers in the last section of the guide when i talk about each plane, but don´t get your hopes too high.

What i will show in this guide. (Chapters)

Atrittion = How it Work.

Weather = How it affect missions and atrittion.

Day/Night cycle + Mission Duration= How aircrafts are influenced by day and night and how many missions they are able to perform on each cycle.

Air Coverage/Range = How it works and how it affects the efficiency of your wings.

Air Superiority bonus = All its know right now.

CAS= How that mission works on detail and to maximize efficiency.

Air superiority/interception = Most info about those 2 missions still have lots of variants not discovered. So i will just explain what you can control to improve your chances.

How to compare Stats and hidden combat Bonus.= How to compare 2 planes and what affects the combat that the game is not showing you.

Plane analysis + Variants = Here i will tell you how that plane perform vs others and what variants can do to help that plane survive more.

Lets start simple, with basic mechanics that sometimes are hard to see.

Atrittion.

Everytime your plane starts a mission it will roll for accidents.

The accident chance is 1% for each 10 reliability below 100. (Default 2%)
Also when they land another roll is made.

So its 2% two times everyday. As you can see you easily lose lots of planes to accidents.
Weather can add a lot to this, só becareful when using planes on bad weather (Paradox make us a “dont fly on bad weather” button. its too much micro to control the weather for planes).

Day/night Cycle and mission duration.

This is a very simple thing to understand.

Day = 9:00 to 00:00 (15h)
Night = 1:00 to 8:00 (7h)

At night bomb runs will have -50% efficiency but its also 20% harder for planes to be detected at night. It will not affect air combat performance.

One mission = 7 Hours. This means a Plane can make 2 Missions at day and 1 mission at night.
A plane can only do 2 missions in a row.

After 2 missions in a row the plane must return to the airport and rest 4 hours. He will return to combat on the 5º hour.

With this becomes easy to understand how planes perform.

With day option on = Enter the fight at 9:00 and leaves at 23:00. It will rest to go again at 9:00

With night option on = Enter at 1:00 and leave at 8:00. It will wait the next night.

Day/Night on =
It will perform for 14H. Rest 4 Hours and go back. (19h cycle giving you one more mission every 4-5 days).



Weather.

Be careful guys. Some climates are really dangerous and can destroy your airforce before you can even use them. (Careful with Blizzards and sandstorms).

Got this from the game data.

rain

air_detection = -10%

air_accidents = +1%

air_mission_efficiency = -10%


Heavy Rain

air_detection = -20%

air_accidents = +3%

air_bombing_targetting = -50%

air_mission_efficiency = -30%


snow

air_detection = -15%

air_accidents = +1%

air_mission_efficiency = -10%


blizzard =

air_detection = -30%

air_accidents = 3%

air_bombing_targetting = -70%

air_mission_efficiency = - 30%


sandstorm =

air_detection = -90% (dont even bother heh)

air_accidents = 6%

air_bombing_targetting = - 100%

air_mission_efficiency = - 50%



Air Coverage. (A.K.A how range is Killing You)

Air coverage will tell you how many planes will reach the mission. Its very important to understand this as this can be one of the main reasons lots and lots of players are losing planes in fights.


If a plane only have 50% air coverage, It means that for every 100 planes you send only 50 will arrive at the mission and actually do something. Cutting your strenght in half. The half that can´t reach still have to roll for atrittion (take off and landing) and is still vulnerable to being intercepted. So they are risking themselves without doing nothing.


So very careful when you plan to send planes to areas your planes reach is inferior to 50%. Increase the Wing size to make the mission viable or don´t bother and save your planes from atrittion and enemy fighters that will overwhelm them.


Air Superiority.

Everything is know right now is that 50 points of air superiority over a region will give -1% defense to all enemy troops on that region.

It seems its capped at 50% but its not confirmed.

Doctrines can improve this and improve from 50% up to 75%. You can see below the upgrades that improve this on each doctrine. Battlefield support is the best if you want to maximize this with strategic destruction as a close second.

Strategic destruction: +25% (logistical bombing) / +25% (Offensive formations).

Battlefield Support: +20% (Dive bombing) / +20% (hunt and destroy) / +20% (battlefield support)

Operational Integrity: +15% (Operational destruction) / +15% (ground attack veteran iniative)



Missions (General information).


Im not going to get extensive here. The game already tells you everything you need to know about them except 1 detail.

If you select 2 or more missions the plane will Try 1 Mission first and only after he run out of targets is that he will try the second mission. I recommend you always only choose one mission.


CAS MISSION. (Close air support and Tactical Bomber)
(How to destroy IC without hurting 1 factory).


The CAS Mission is extreme important on Hearts of Iron 4.
All data i gathered sending german troops to their deaths on a 1939 game on the maginot line. (The french AI refuse to attack and german attack is 0 because of forts, this way i was able to control how many battles happened at same time, how many troops participated and how much dmg the planes did ).

Right now the CAS is the best way to inflict Strenght Damage to units in Hearts of iron 4. With CAS you will be able to kill all those expensive equipment they are bringing to shot you in the face. It will really show its importance on long battles as the battle drags on and the enemy is bombed without mercy.


How a CAS mission Work? First you need one of the 2 planes above (CAS or Tactical Bomber) and make a Wing of them (one group).

I will explain in steps a day operation. And below i will explain more the details.


1-> The CAS wing will leave airport at 9AM/1PM.

2-> They will Choose 1 Battle to Help. Its random.

3-> The Wing will stay 7 hours on that particular battle. (AA will fire at them every hour)

4-> They will always do the same damage. How fast depends on how many enemy troops are fighting. (enemy width).

5-> The Wing will choose a second battle and repeat the process. (if its night jump to step 6).
If no other battle is available they stay.

6-> They will return home.


Damage = The damage is determined by the ground attack value. Its unavoidable so you can´t defend against CAS damage. The damage is done in 2 turns (at the start of the attack and after 4 hours). Those 4 hours give anti air some time to shoot them down.

Organization damage = Ground attack – 90%

Strenght damage = Ground attack -90% / 2

Example: 10 tactical bombers I (1936) bomb a enemy during 7h. (1 mission).

6 ground attack x 10 = 60 – 90% = 0.6 Org Damage.

6 ground attack x 10 = 60 – 90% / 2 = 0.3 Strenght damage.


The game will only show the damage once it reaches a full number. (1,2,3 etc).

The damage of 1 plane looks insignificant, but dont underestimate strenght damage.


Look.
A infantary have 25 hP.
A artilhary around 0.6 HP
A Tank (any type) 2 HP


So everytime 2 tactical 1936 bomb something 1 artilhary is blow up. (in theory as the damage will go to one random batallion inside the division).

Now make that 20 planes. Better. 200. You will start to break tanks, artilhary, some infantary, Anti-tank equipment. All that equipment will need to be replaced and while they wait it will reduce the enemy division efficiency. Also the ground attack improves a lot with later models/variants.



Max Allowed number of cas in a attack = Enemy Width x 3 - Mission Efficiency.

So if a enemy widht is 20. The maximum amount of CAS´s that can participate in that particular battle is 60.

Some terrains affect this. (hills -5%, forest and mountain -10%, jungle -25%, citys -50%).

Multiple wings can participate in the same battle until the max number of planes is reached.
Wings will not Split into multiple battles. If the wing is bigger the excess planes will do nothing and wait a extra enemy division to enter combat. They will also help with defense and take AA damage.


Anti- Air = Anti-Air is problematic to CAS. Each Hour the AA will roll a number of attacks equal to their Air attack value. One random Cas will roll defense and try to avoid being hit, this repeats until the AA has run out of attacks. Once a plane run out of defense (HP) it will die.

As each mission have 7 hours, multiple AA´s can make the planes blow up and make metal rain from the skys. Small wings will blow before they even can do its second attack.

CAS vs Tactical bomber = Go to plane analysis for that.


CAS WING ORGANIZATION =
That depends on your air coverage.

Below 50% = Go for Wings of 100 planes. This way at least some will reach the target.

Above 50% = Go for Wings of 50 Planes. This way you can maximize the planes efficiency not losing much to low width.


If the enemy is using AA go for wings of 100-200 planes. The only defense CAS and tactical bombers have against AA are numbers. This will reduce the amount of planes lost to AA.


Day/night preference = Day. This way you perform 2 mission each day at 100% Efficiency.
At night they only perform 1 mission (-50% dmg) and again take another -50% dmg for being at night.
With day+Night you can do +1 missions every 4 days, but a lot of those missions will be at night and thats just not worth the risk.


Operational preference = Normal operations (50%) = Those wings are horrible if they are damaged, don´t send them to their deaths for nothing. They need to be full strenght to be useful.

If you're taking constant losses increase the wing size to 100-200 to make up for it and reach optimal results.


Doctrines: Doctrines increase the damage the planes can do each day. Battlefield support being much better if you wish to maximize CAS damage.

Strategic destruction: +10% (infrastructure destruction)

Battlefield Support: +20% (direct ground support) / +20% (ground support Integration)

Operational Integrity: +10% (Low echelon support).


Air Superiority/Interception


Here i will tell you how those two mission works só you can know later what plane is better for mission A and the plane that is better for mission B. To know this go to Plane Analysis and Combat section below.


Air superiority in steps. Most of those info is already in the Wiki and i will not explain everything because some data is beyond your control and influence.

The air superiority/interception is divided in some stages. I will deal with the part that matters and you have direct control. The Detection stage.

This stage is the same for both missions. Just one is for fighters and other for bombers.

detection Stage.

Base detection chance on friendly/occupied state is 10%. (if you control half, half the bonus). This is affected by weather and you can see if you have the mouse over a air region.

1-> Fighters and H. Fighters Wings in interception mission will increase detection chance up to 5% (2000 planes in a region for maximum bonus and is the optimal amount).

2-> Radar increase detection chance up to 25% in a state. (the wiki is not clear but going by the logic of base detection being linked to your % of control it makes sense a radar should work the same way with coverage).

3-> Chance of detecting a bomber -50% (Looks like when you're looking for fighters, half that value is used to find bombers instead).


Now that you found something the game will calculate how many.

1-> If he detected a wing. 10% of that wing will be automatically discovered.
2-> If its on a radar covered region adds 70%. (80% already).

3-> There is also a random factor of 10%. The wiki is not clear if its binary or can be a negative value, but most likely its works beetween -10% and +10%. (binary (0 or 10%) makes little sense here).

Making a assumption but if the wing is a bomber it makes sense that the part of the wing not discovered will run away and will not help the part that was discovered.

Fighters will use 100% of their wings to defend themselves if discovered and they also will reveal themselves to defend any allied bomber in the region.

Why i make that assumption? Because of how the mechanic works on the Target stage below.


Second Stage. Target Stage and 2vs1 fights.

You have little control here but you must know about this to make the right decisions and why placing planes on no retreat will quickly lead to those crazy death numbers.


You have detected a Wing, or at least part of that wing. Now you take off to intercept and your planes must choose their targets.


If they're hunting for bombers they will try to outrun the enemy fighters defending them and go directly for the bombers. That chance is 25% and is increased by any agility + speed bonus your planes have over the enemy fighter. (Cap 95%).

If your fighter is intercepted the bomber escaped no matter if you win or lose.


Also if you have advantage in numbers for every extra plane you will have a 40% chance of that extra plane to help and make the fight a 2vs1. (it also works for the enemy).

Example: 200 fighters vs 100 fighters. 100 fighters will roll a 40% chance of joining in one of the 100 battles that are happening and make the fight a 2vs1.

So it will be 140 x 100 and the wing with less aircraft will have a huge disadvantage.

There is a cap of 2. So there is no point trying to make a 3vs1 or more . It will not happen.


When a 2v1 happens the game will take the average of attacks. (Example: 1 fighter 27 attack + 1 H. Fighter 36 attack are together in that battle. 27+36 = 63/2 = 32 attacks will be made vs the opponent.).


There is two good things about a 2vs1.

One is that the enemy now have to shoot 2 planes. Being much more difficulty for the plane to shoot one of them down.
The second is that both fighters get a +18% hit chance.


And finally. The last thing you have to know is that the Max number of wings that can participate in a combat. The wiki is not very clear if its 6 or 8. (it starts saying its 6, later changes to 8).

But with 1000 planes being the max for each wing we know the maximum amount of aircraft that can participate in a battle at same time. 6000-8000 planes. (the wiki says 1000 but this makes little sense with the 2vs1 mechanic already limiting the max, number of planes in a fight).


Using the 2vs1 logic the worst possible scenario is 5x3. (5 wings fighting 3 wings).
I will use that scenario to configure our wings to the fight as i don´t know how many enemy wings can intercept 1 squadron. (4? all 7? the wiki don´t say).



AIR SUPERIORITY/INTERCEPTION ORGANIZATION=

Here things get really complicated.
If you understood everything i said above we have thousands of combinations to go and its impossible to have a perfect formula.

To make things simple i will list the most commom objectives you want and give you the best Wing to achieve that objective without having to think much about it later. If you want to min-max be my guest but i don´t think its worth it.


I will also give the best day/night cycle / best plane (why that choice go to analysis) / Operational Strenght and How many planes you need to fully defend that region and totally forget about it. (once you secure a air zone in this configuration you can jump to the next and repeat the process).

You will also see that my configuration is mostly for a Europe Scenario where the air battle is intense and most countrys have multiple airfields in range. Adjust not only to your number of airfields but also the opponent.




Fighter Hunt on Home Regions (include sea regions close to home)
(Air superiority).

Day/night cycle = day. You want those fighters to avoid Strategic bombers and hunt other nimble fighters like CAS, Naval bombers etc. Also this avoid your planes doing too many operations and getting killed for nothing


Operational strenght = Normal operations = Those wings will suffer horribly if they are outnumbered. Go max strenght always.

Recommended fighter = Light Fighter.


Wing size = 1 to 5 Wings of 200-400 planes each. (More enemy airfields in range will demand more wings and fighters).


1000-2000 fighters are enough to fill a lv10 airport. You have 100% air coverage (i hope) and your enemy don´t have that luxury. A lot of times the enemy will have 50% air coverage/range or less and that means for every 100 fighters he send 50 or more will be unable to join a battle.


That means you want to press the number advantage as much as possible to make every battle a 2vs1 for your side and with this minimize losses.


What will really determine the number of your wing is how many airports the enemy have. More airfields means they can send more planes to contest that region.


Also you want big wings because even if you fly at 50% strenght you will have a good size and will not be overwhelmed until help arrives. Never run this mission with a small size, you will be crushed as light fighters can´t take a 2v1 due to poor defense.

This is one of the many reasons most players lose thousands of fighters a day.
Because they make little wings. They get overwhelmed by a big AI wing and the game does not show why they keep losing.


Bomber Hunt on Home Regions (Air interception)

Day/Night cycle = Day and Night. You want to find those planes and kill them on sight.

Operational strenght = Normal operations. You want the best strenght you can achieve.

Recommended fighter = H. Fighter.


Wing Size = 4 Wings of 250 (enough for the enemy bomber wing + Escorts).


Bombers are a problem. Its a very large spectre of units that goes from CAS, Naval Bombers to the super hard to kill Stategic bombers. Plus they can be escorted and a 2vs1 fight of a Bomber +fighter vs 1 Heavy fighter will be impossible to win. You need number advantage.

Also if you use fighters they will drop like flys as they barely survive a S. Bomber alone, even more with a enemy fighter helping them.


With a size of 250 you can face a S. Bomber wing of 100 and still have 150 units to go for escorts.


You need 4 wings because rarely you will have only 1 Wing bombing you. CAS wings are numerous and your wing can only engage 2 wings before going to rest. Reason why most players are failing to hunt CAS. They just can´t keep up with the numbers of wings.


Escort Mission (air superiority on enemy territory)→

day/night cycle → Night, the same as bombers and tac. Bombers.

Operational strenght → Normal operations.

Recommended fighter → Fighters or H. Fighters (both work)


Wing Size → around 300 with a air coverage of 50%. More if its lower, less if its higher. Up to 150 at 100% Range efficiency.


Here air coverage starts to go against you. I will assume a air coverage of only 50%. So only 150 Fighters will participate in battle. That means you total force will be around 200-300 and you will be the one facing 2v1 situations. Be warned and expect medium to high fighter losses.


For 2v1 situations H. Fighters are better because of their defense. Your plan is not to kill fighters but to make your bombers get out alive. Each Bomber is worth 2 H. Fighters of IC.

Fighters will be better if you can manage to make the fights more equal and they have the range for it.

It really depends a lot on the theater of operations and the enemy you're facing.


Fighter hunt on enemy regions (Air superiority or bomb interception on enemy territory but no allied bombers to defend)


NO. Just don´t.... you have nothing to gain trying to kill fighters in a territory where range works against you and you're not bombing anything.

You're just wasting fighters and giving free air XP to them.



Doctrines: All doctrines also improve both missions. Some more than others. Operational integrity is clearly the best air superiority and interception doctrine.

Strategic destruction:

+10% fighter detection

+10% Intercept detection

+20% dmg to fighters going interception missions or +15% dmg for air superiority missions.


Battlefield Support:

+15% Fighter detection

+15% dmg on air superiority missions or ace generation

-15% chance for enemy fighters to ignore your fighters saving more bombers that way.


Operational Integrity.
-20% chance of enemy fighters ignoring your fighters and going for bombers.

+20% Dmg on interception missions.

+20% Fighter detection

+20% dmg on air superiority missions.




How to compare Stats and hidden combat Bonus.

Now im going to describe how you can compare 2 aicrafts. This way you will know if aircraft A have a chance vs aicraft B. (its never a 100% win chance, the combat was made in a way that a weaker plane always have a chance).

I will not go too deep in how combat works because people are still figurint out how everything works, but what i can explain below is enough to start to predict with some confidence if you will win or lose a fight.

Before we start calculating i need to explain how the unique atributes of a plane work.

Mission stat = every plane have a number for the missions they can perform. For example. A fighter have a air superiority mission of 1.0. This is a direct multiplier to the plane stats.

So if a plane have 10 attack and a air superiority mission of 1.2 it will have 12 attack while they are doing that mission.

Thats why doctrines, aces, generals and manufacturers are só important. They can add multiple bonus to a plane and make a ton of a difference when added together.

I highly recommend for you to choose 1 type of plane and focus eveything on them to maximize efficiency.


Speed = Speed is very important if not the most important stat on a plane. A speed advantage give a lot of bonus that can make what looks like a bad plane in a killing machine.

For each 10km/h above the opponent the airplane will get 2,5% buff to Attack and defense. Usually planes have a difference of 100-150km and this buff have no cap. So more speed is always better.

Also Speed increase the chance you will attack first by 25%. (Air superiority vs air superiority only).


Agility = For every point of agility above the opponent your plane will get a +1% bonus.
Also you can get up to 20% defense bonus for having a bigger agility.

Example: 20 agility vs 10 agility the plane with 20 agility will receive a 10% bonus.
This have a cap of 3 times the opponent agility. (lets say my opoonent agility was 1, the buff would go down from 10% to 3%).


Attack and Defense works the same as ground forces. They will exhaust their attacks until the defense of one plane go to 0 and die.


With this we can start to compare planes.

For example. (Doctrines , etc are all the same for this test).
Fighter I (1936) vs Fighter II (1940).

Speed > FI 500km/h vs FII 650km/h (650-500 = 150 x 0.25 = 37.5% bonus to FII stats)

Agility > F1 50 vs FII 65 (65 – 50 = 15% bonus to FII stats)


37.5% + 15 = 52.5% (67.5% for defense due to agility exclusive bonus).


Attack FI 18 vs FII 27 +52.5% = 41

Defense FI 10 vs FII 16 + 67.5% = 26,8

Also you can get up to +20% chance to hit for having a better stat. Both agility and speed help to get this.


With this you can see that a Fight 1940 can easily beat a figher 1936 in a 1x1 combat. The fighter II can still lose to a 2vs1 só you must be careful to not be overconfident.



Plane analysis + Variants


Now im going to analyse each Plane and what you can do to improve them. I will go in order from right to the left in the research tree.

I wil also explain where each variant can help them but just a quick tutorial on variants.
- Each point in a variant increase the plane stats by 10%. (up to 50%).
- Reliability is self explanatory, it will reduce atrittion and is useful for all aircrafts. Always keep it at minimum around 70%.

- All my variant recommendations cost beetween 250-350XP and its very important you get them as soon as possible to help your factorys keep the production above your losses. Close Air Support



Close air Support.

The division Strenght killer. The CAS have the best ground attack compared to the tactical bomber, its crazy cheap (for a plane).

1 production line of CAS is already enough to make a difference as you can make them work with small wings and they will need very little escort from fighters.


They have the same range as fighters and you must avoid placing them on bad air coverage regions as you will have to increase the wings and risk more and more for too little damage. Build airports close to the front just for them and make them walk with the troops.


The Battlefield support doctrine will increase their damage by 40%. It can make a 1944 CAS to go from 20 ground attack to 28. Enough for a single CAS to do 1,4 Strenght dmg on a division.

On late game most divisions will have a very low hp as they replace infantary for tanks that have only 2HP, motorized are even more vulnerable for also being expensive. Most divisions widht 20 created by players will have around 130-180HP. So all you need now is to bomb them into oblivion and make the enemy factorys having to waste more time replacing everything.


A good player using a smart formation of CAS + Strategic bombers can starve a country of expensive materials and bomb them back to the napoleonic era.


CAS Variants options.
I recommend 2 types of CAS.

Long Range CAS: Reliability 3 / Range 4 → Those variants will have a 1400km range. Enough to counter a lot of air coverage problems on big fronts. This will also improve its survival vs AA´s and planes as your wings will be closer to 100% effiency.


Bomber CAS: Reliability 3 / Weapon 4 → This one is all about dmg. Use them on closer regions or airports you have just taken and can use with 100% coverage (or close to this). The extra attack will make them feel the pain of not having air superiority.



Fighter → The king of the air.
Versatile, fast, agile and with the right upgrades it can take down everything in the game.

You want 1 to 3 production lines of fighters to keep up with losses.

The fighter only face 3 problems, but those problems are huge.

Problem number one > 2vs1 fights are brutal for them, they just don´t have a high defense and will go down if outnumbered. So they must work on Big wings to cover each other and regions with high air coverage.


Problem number two > Strategic bombers will win most of the time a 1x1 fight if the fighter is not a variant version.


Last problem → Low range (1k at 1940-44) also means they are meant only to hunt inside your territory. Never use them to fight the enemy at home. You will face severe Air Coverage problems most of the time and your fighters will drop like flys.

The Operational integrity doctrine is the best one if you wish to buff fighters. It will greatly increase their agility and air interception and superiority missions. Also its the best for ace´s.

Fighter Variants recommendations.

Anti-Strategic bomber fighter → Reliability 3 / Weapon 5 → This fighter is all about going against bombers and blowing them from the skys. In a 1x1 fight they will win most of the time as they continue to have a speed and agility advantage.

The problem is that now they are vulnerable to enemy fighters and Heavy fighters.
Its a cheap way to go for Strategic bombers if your country can´t afford to research all the planes. You place everything on the fighter basket and live with it.

If you go that route i also recommend a manufactory that gives +10% Speed and agility to fighters if they are available.

Anti- Fighter → Speed 3 / Weapon 1 / Reliability 3 → This one will get tired of killing planes. The extra speed and agility buff will make sure you have even more bonus to face the enemy and will always have the advantage vs other fighters. The small increase in weapon will also help a lot.


Pacific Fighter → Range 3-5 / Speed 0-2/ Reliability 3 → This fighter is only recommended on the pacific theater or places where the territory is só big that even if you place a airport there you still have range problems.

South america, Pacific, Africa, Parts of asia. All those theaters enter in this field and if you wish to use fighters there you need this.



Naval Bomber

I don´t talked much about those. Mostly because my knowledge of the naval war is minimal.

What i can tell is that no doctrine benefits naval bombers very well. (strategic destruction have a 15% bonus, but the others have a 10% bonus). Its not worth choosing a doctrine with a naval bomber in mind.


I can´t say if speed will help a naval bomber to avoid AA. The only defense i can tell you to use is numbers numbers and numbers. More bombers in the skys more targets the AA will shoot helping each plane to go back home alive.


What naval bombers need the most is range. Most sea regions are very big and it will be very commom for the naval bomber to not find ships because of the air coverage.

Variant Recommendations.


Pacific naval bomber → range 4 / Reliability 4 formula.

If your naval war is close to home like
italy for example maybe its worth going Weapon 2 / Range 3 / Reliability 3 to increase your chances.


Heavy fighter.

Jack of all trades, Master of none.

The heavy fighter is by far the plane with most air attack of the game. Its low agility also make sure they will give all the air vs air bonus to a fighter and lose in a 1x1 because of that.

They are perfect bomber escorts because of their range and bomber hunters because of their armor. Being able to fight a Strategic bomber + Fighter in a 2v1 and hope to survive and live to tell the tale. At worst he will be able to live enough to do some damage.


Operational integrity can buff them a lot and is the best doctrine for them. Also a particular industry can increase their reliability by 20%. That can make his variant very very cheap as you don´t need to increase reliability.


Variant Recommendations.


Escort H. Fighter → Speed 2 / Range 3 / Reliability 3 →
This fighter only purpose is to stop a enemy fighter of getting your Strategic bomber and help him out to survive.


The range is to help more H. Fighters to enter in the battle and avoid a huge air coverage penalty.
Also the speed will help those fighters come back home alive.


Bomber Killer → Speed 2 / weapon 2 / Reliability 3 →

All they need to hunt a bomber and kill them. Also improve his survival chance vs fighters.



Tactical Bomber

A lot of people ignore them for having worse stats.
Sure, they can´t compete with a CAS and can´t compete with a Strategic bomber.

But they can do Both main missions and cost only 27IC while a S. Bomber + CAS would cost around 80IC.


Countrys that have problems researching fighters or factory output problems should focus on those bombers instead. They will do the job and can survive with escort.


Strategic destruction doctrine is the best tree for them. Giving +25% defense for them.

Variant recommendation.


Quick Bomber → Speed 5 / reliability 3.
This variant will get almost 500km/h on a 1940 version and will have 30+ agility.
Add the +20% defense and they will be a fighter very hard to take down without the right upgrades.


You want to avoid putting range into bombers because otherwise the H. Fighters will be unable to escort them. (Unless you make a full range version for this).


Strategic bombers →

Right now the most hated bomber of the game, not because its bad but because its good.


Without any upgrades a Strategic bomber is a sight to fear. They have the best defense of all planes and unless they face a number disadvantage they will be able to tear fighters apart easily.

Even a Heavy fighter will find problems to survive if they end up fighting 2 bombers or one bomber +1 fighter.


The problem is that the S. Bomber is so slow that no speed bonus will save him.
They should always work at night to avoid detection. A damaged industry can be bombed again tomorrow, but not if you lose the bomber.

They are also very expensive and only some countrys can afford them.


The Strategic destruction doctrine is the best for them giving tons of defense (+25%) plus they remove the night disadvantage for bombers.


Variants

Super long ranged bomber→ Range 5 / reliability 3

Worth in the pacific and other regions where you have no way to have escorts no matter what you do. Also super interesting to jump whole regions and hurt the enemy well behind the lines if he is concetrating the airforce on the front.


With a 9000km range in 1944 no place is safe from this variant.


Air supremacy bomber → Engine 5 / reliability 3


The speed buff is minimal, the agility actually hurt you.
But its still worth it. Its enough to remove just a little of the enemy buff and give you a slight better chance of taking them down.



EDIT 18/06 -> One very important quote explaining airfields and how they work :).


You might add a section on where to build and position air bases. The current system leads to very weird things, like CAS/INT are best positioned in lle de France rather than Alsace if they are defending France. I drew a basic picture to explain why:



Red = bad mission efficiency, doesn't cover most of the airspace (53% in my test).
Greed = good mission efficiency, covers almost all of the airspace (90% in my test).

Completely counter intuitive but its how the game works.




I hoped i helped some people understand air combat better.
It was a huge undetaking to type all of this in 5 hours :p.
 
Last edited:

fabius

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Awesome job. So fighter air wings of 200- 400; why not larger?
 

-Stukov-MK VII

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What about air aces?

Wouldn't it be netter to have fighters in wings of 100 to utilize the ace bonus?

And what is the different between 1 wing of 1000 planes and 10 wings of 100 performing the same air superiority mission?
 
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Vidkjaer

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What about air aces?

Wouldn't it be netter to have fighters in wings of 100 to utilize the ace bonus?

And what is the different between 1 wing of 1000 planes and 10 wings of 100 performing the same air superiority mission?
You cannot have more than 6 airwings on air superiority or interception mission.
For CAS missions the max is 30 airwings.
Maybe they interfere with each other so if you have air superiority missions for airwings they + CAS can only be 6. I dont know.
 

Ariakus Fordring

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This is awesome! Can you give us some information about strategic bombing?
 
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Danielefc

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Give the man a cookie!

Now for a question. Are trollbombers... sorry... *torpedo*bombers on port strike "game breaking" for smaller naval nations like Italy? Taking into account the above very well done job of explaining i just dont see how ANY navy within range of torpedobombers can survive - no matter the level of AA or fighter coverage.

Tested this in my last game: Put the entire Regia Marina into Taranto (6BBs, 9CAs, 12CLs and about 60DDs). Covered it with lvl5 state AA and 6 of those CLs had maxed out AA. And guarding them were 1400 fighters by day and 600 by night. I had not yet read this guide so i had not split up the day fighters.

RESULTS: Well below 20 days the entire fleet was sunk (minus 20 or so DDs).

Decided to find this out after the Kriegmarine was 'one-shotted' in my last Germany game - 3BBs, 9CAs, 6CLs, 16DDs - gone in a single 300 CV-torpbomber strike. Hows that for fun....
 

bdodig

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Give the man a cookie!

Now for a question. Are trollbombers... sorry... *torpedo*bombers on port strike "game breaking" for smaller naval nations like Italy? Taking into account the above very well done job of explaining i just dont see how ANY navy within range of torpedobombers can survive - no matter the level of AA or fighter coverage.

Tested this in my last game: Put the entire Regia Marina into Taranto (6BBs, 9CAs, 12CLs and about 60DDs). Covered it with lvl5 state AA and 6 of those CLs had maxed out AA. And guarding them were 1400 fighters by day and 600 by night. I had not yet read this guide so i had not split up the day fighters.

RESULTS: Well below 20 days the entire fleet was sunk (minus 20 or so DDs).

Decided to find this out after the Kriegmarine was 'one-shotted' in my last Germany game - 3BBs, 9CAs, 6CLs, 16DDs - gone in a single 300 CV-torpbomber strike. Hows that for fun....
Italy has to devote about a third of it's industry to contest the air, esp. once the MC202 is researched which should be done at the earliest opportunity. Focus on the operational integrity air doctrine tree, because you can't really spare a big bomber force as Italy. Radar is a must. Taranto is a bad spot, btw. It's too close. I prefer Venice for important ships if fighting Allies (unless I choose to fight Axis, then Taranto is ideal).

Best way to have fleets survive is to keep them out at sea with fighters providing air cover. Keep some destroyers in ports so the enemy wastes bombers. You'll need about 2000 spare fighters and at least 1000 active fighters to control the sky, with the best variants you can make (there's a theorist which gives you air experience which helps right away), radar coverage where the ports are, and planes flying out of regions where they have 100% coverage.

Mostly, though, I avoid early entry into the war vs Allies. If Nat. Spain joins Axis and they do in my games and takes Giblatar, then it's the time to play - you can quickly kick the British out of Africa and then the med sea is your playground and you can systematically eliminate all the rocks and carriers they're bombing you from.

Port strikes are a bit... too easy to repetitvely conduct at the moment, really. I expect this will get somewhat rebalanced in time. The AI does indeed throw everything and the kitchen sink at you if there are ships in port. Within a few months of declaring war on either Germany or Allies as Italy I would destroy 3000 enemy aircraft normally at loss of 1500 of my own. These are massive numbers.
 

KevinG

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I understood most of the OP except the part about optimal wing sizes. It seems like there is an upper limit to your wing sizes where adding more planes makes them worse? I know adding more planes to CAS wings is pointless past a certain amount, but is this also true for fighters?
 

Vexurius

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How do u manage to get more then 5k fighter in 8 years, and i mean only the regular one?
i beat USSR and think i played well for the 3th game, but i only produce Fighters to protect my homeland (4x1000) until i reached 1942,
it was the first time i have enough ressorces to get 4x500 stacks to get AS in USSR without getting punished in france.
and i never had the capacity to produce a single plane of an other type!

Or are my casualties so big cause i use 1000 stacks day/night / 50% / AS only?
Always ahead in Air tech and doctrine and Version 5Rel, 5engie, 5Gun, 0Armor

greets
 

Narnyay

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So that's where I probably went wrong. ..I sent my fighters with my bombers attacking enemy areas. I guess I thought it made sense to escort the bombers but I guess not now
 

wthomas

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Fighter hunt on enemy regions (Air superiority or bomb interception on enemy territory but no allied bombers to defend)


NO. Just don´t.... you have nothing to gain trying to kill fighters in a territory where range works against you and you're not bombing anything.

You're just wasting fighters and giving free air XP to them.
That's a great point. I was thinking I would bring the fight to them, but I didn't think about the inefficiency.

Thank you! Great guide.
 

Mored

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Nice post but i dont agree on numbers for optimal size.
I testest a lot because i lost air superior badly in my first game.
After that i used around 4k figther planes in the west in 1939 and got easy air superior with nearly low losses.
Size of planes are always 100. And i used around 10 wings in each region where i expect enemy bombers.
Normal death/kill ration is around 1/5. Same for support. I use also 100er stacks in multiple wings CAS and TAC and also Navy Bombers with good experience.
 
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sterrius

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What about air aces?

Wouldn't it be netter to have fighters in wings of 100 to utilize the ace bonus?

And what is the different between 1 wing of 1000 planes and 10 wings of 100 performing the same air superiority mission?
The ace bonus is proportional to the wing size. The wings above take that into account and give a good enough bonus.

About bigger wings is because you can´t know how many wings the enemy have, if he uses a 1000 size wing for example a 100 wing will have lots of trouble for hours until he is reinforced by enough fighters. (its likely not instant).
Also you have the maximum size of wings that can enter in a air battle (6 or 8), so bigger wings have advantage over a swarm of little wings.

Your post is very good, but long and takes a lot of scrolling. Could you put in some Spoiler tags?
Roger that, i wil work on it.


I understood most of the OP except the part about optimal wing sizes. It seems like there is an upper limit to your wing sizes where adding more planes makes them worse? I know adding more planes to CAS wings is pointless past a certain amount, but is this also true for fighters?
Bigger fighter wings is usually better but it have its drawbacks. Its safer for the fighters but also safer for the enemy bombers.

Thats because a fighter wing can only engage 2 battles before return home. Also the best match superior numbers can give you is 2 vs 1 .
So while a 1000 Wing fighter is totally safe from being overwhelmed you will also lack fighter wings to destroy all the bombers wings that are entering in your air space.

You want your wings to be big enough so that only 2-3 wings will be able to take down the biggest fighter wing the enemy can send.
Also you want your wings to be small enough so they can intercept bombers while they are fighting the fighters.

This way you maximize your air coverage while you minimize the opponent.

Also a 1000fighter wing cost around 22000 IC to build and even more to maintain. Its not practical and will be too much for all countrys, even the US will have problems to have multiple 1000 fighter wings if both sides do a good job.

How do u manage to get more then 5k fighter in 8 years, and i mean only the regular one?
i beat USSR and think i played well for the 3th game, but i only produce Fighters to protect my homeland (4x1000) until i reached 1942,
it was the first time i have enough ressorces to get 4x500 stacks to get AS in USSR without getting punished in france.
and i never had the capacity to produce a single plane of an other type!

Or are my casualties so big cause i use 1000 stacks day/night / 50% / AS only?
Always ahead in Air tech and doctrine and Version 5Rel, 5engie, 5Gun, 0Armor

greets
You can easily produce 10k planes/year. One roduction line of fighters can make 4-6 a day = 1460-2200/year

As USSR you will have Factory problems until 1942-43 as you have tons of factorys in a 1936 start.
So at first you want to focus only on Fighters , H. Fighters and Tactical bombers.

You want to use around 40%-50% of your military industry on airplane production as USSR.

You most likely are producing too few aircraft.


Give the man a cookie!

Now for a question. Are trollbombers... sorry... *torpedo*bombers on port strike "game breaking" for smaller naval nations like Italy? Taking into account the above very well done job of explaining i just dont see how ANY navy within range of torpedobombers can survive - no matter the level of AA or fighter coverage.

Tested this in my last game: Put the entire Regia Marina into Taranto (6BBs, 9CAs, 12CLs and about 60DDs). Covered it with lvl5 state AA and 6 of those CLs had maxed out AA. And guarding them were 1400 fighters by day and 600 by night. I had not yet read this guide so i had not split up the day fighters.

RESULTS: Well below 20 days the entire fleet was sunk (minus 20 or so DDs).

Decided to find this out after the Kriegmarine was 'one-shotted' in my last Germany game - 3BBs, 9CAs, 6CLs, 16DDs - gone in a single 300 CV-torpbomber strike. Hows that for fun....
Sorry but naval combat i have limited knowledge and this guide cover very little about them.

But i see from naval bomber stats that they have a "naval hit chance" stat. Most likely ships on port have a evasion of 0.
With a evasion of 0 it becomes very very easy for naval bombers to hit everything.

300 hits from 300 naval bombers, not matter how bad they are (even at -75% dmg from AA) is still going to do tons of damage at your fleet and sink everything.
 

mursolini

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Feb 1, 2014
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How do u manage to get more then 5k fighter in 8 years, and i mean only the regular one?
i beat USSR and think i played well for the 3th game, but i only produce Fighters to protect my homeland (4x1000) until i reached 1942,
it was the first time i have enough ressorces to get 4x500 stacks to get AS in USSR without getting punished in france.
and i never had the capacity to produce a single plane of an other type!

Or are my casualties so big cause i use 1000 stacks day/night / 50% / AS only?
Always ahead in Air tech and doctrine and Version 5Rel, 5engie, 5Gun, 0Armor
greets
With 15 factories you produce around 4 fighters per day, depends on industry tech. So, around a 1.5k fighters per year from one full line.
If you have 2 full lines, it is 3k fighters.

For Germany, by 1940, I tend to run at least 45 factories, 30 for fighters, and 15 for heavy fighters.
 
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