Optimal NAV, CAS and Fighter set ups?

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Theres a preset button with pre-made models.,

Also when im "wandering" without know to make i check the wiki with non-DLC models status, and try "clone" it with designers:


If playing a major country with resources and good research, i recommend just make the up-to-date models, will already overkill against AI planes.

Notice theres a 4yr tech gap between frames, so a good 1940 model, would be efective til 1944.
 
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Theres a preset button with pre-made models.,

Also when im "wandering" without know to make i check the wiki with non-DLC models status, and try "clone" it with designers:


If playing a major country with resources and good research, i recommend just make the up-to-date models, will already overkill against AI planes.

Notice theres a 4yr tech gap between frames, so a good 1940 model, would be efective til 1944.
I know all this but the problem is the new aircraft designer. Nothing really makes sense anymore after they updated it.
 
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This is a massive open ended question because the underlying query is "can you explain air warfare in HOI4". So let's have a go.

So, starting with fighters. We can start our analysis by referring to Lanchester's square law (go look it up, in runs throughout the algorithms in most wargames). Based purely on attack and defence values the "value" of a fighter design is proportional to air attack per IC cost time air defence per IC cost. This is a go base point for evaluating designs and can be used as a starting point for evaluating designs BUT there are number of secondary considerations that have sufficient impact on air combat that they can't be ignored and they are all very difficult to evaluate because they are circumstantial.

The secondaries for fighters are - agility, speed and numbers. Agility and speed advantages give you significant bonuses in combat and generally the best fighters involve some concessions to speed and agility. I will often run fighters with HMG under the current HOI4 settings. Periodically some players post about running experiments where they test the impact of speed/agility factors and the optimal choice may be quite subtle. However, numbers is something that is often forgotten about. A key factor in air combat is air detection and simply having more fighters on air superiority generates more air detection. This is why air combat experiments need to be carried out with very large numbers of aircraft so that air detection is not a factor. In most situations aircraft numbers are low enough that it is a factor and hence worth considering making cheaper more numerous aircraft just to address it.

Now is a time for an aside about range. Generally it is better to have aircraft that have sufficient range to fully cover the air zones you want fly in. If you have 50% mission efficiency because of inadequate range then that is exactly like having only half as many aircraft. The problem is that range is typically in direct conflict with air defence and taking more range will increase your air combat losses.

As a side point. There is a general principle of always use the latest engines. This is important for speed and agility in fighters and carrying capacity for other types. However, for some types like torpedo bombers there is some times good reason to use old engines simply because it is a enough. A single engine torpedo bomber really only needs to have enough engine to carry a torpedo and whatever extra fuel tanks you have decided to have.

For CAS I'm just going to list some bullet points because you are probably starting to get the idea
  • CAS supporting a battle are limited to twice the combat width. This means there is a big difference between situations where you could use more CAS if you had them and situations where you have enough and you want them more effective
  • Ground AA is totally unaffected by any characteristics of the CAS you are using and therefore losses in industrial terms and simply proportional to the cost of each CAS. This means you should use cheap CAS against heavy AA and expensive CAS against low AA. The AI is generally a low AA player.
  • CAS provide bonuses to ground units based on the number of CAS supporting the battle and inflict damage based on their ground attack. This means that the value of CAS isn't measured purely in ground attack capability
  • The ultimate CAS is generally going to be a three engine tactical bomber with ground attack going up into the 50-60 range. These can be absolutely devastating but are very expensive
  • Against the AI having a CAS weapon in one slot means that, once you have air superiority, you can easily totally saturate all battles with CAS support for the basic CAS bonus for the ground units
  • It is possible to design CAS-fighters like you can design fighter-CAS. Basically a fighter with a CAS weapon in the first slot. The two types can be designed to be identical in fit but with type determined by the first weapon slot and attracting fighter or CAS type bonuses. This is significant because this can significantly impact the aircraft properties you end up with (based on doctrine, spirits, high command and MIO bonuses)
  • You need to decide whether you are building vulnerable CAS to operate only with air superiority, survivable CAS with some allowance for air defence or CAS that can go head to head with fighters
For naval bombers I often go for simple torpedo bombers (ie only weapon is the torpedo(s)) loaded up with extra fuel tanks. These are terrible if the enemy has any sort of fighter cover but nicely economical for attacking ships at sea. Range is often a critical property for these types of aircraft. However, if you are simply trying to dispute the English Channel then shorter range, cheaper, more durable aircraft may be appropriate.

Generally I'm designing aircraft to remain useful in multiple theatres which means longer range than is often needed. If you design your aircraft based on Western Europe ranges then they will be at a disadvantage over the western Soviet Union and potentially unusable further East. Currently my standard fighters have extra fuel tanks as well as drop tanks just so I have adequate range for multiple theatres. This is, of course, partly because beating the AI isn't a big issue.

A couple of example aircraft

General purpose fighter - note the bomb locks to fill out numbers for mass ground offensive

1707566556250.png


Medium CAS - 1940 airframe with electronic modules to make it useful for strategic bombing

1707566661716.png


WW3 ultimate CAS

1707566718382.png
 
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This is a massive open ended question because the underlying query is "can you explain air warfare in HOI4". So let's have a go.

So, starting with fighters. We can start our analysis by referring to Lanchester's square law (go look it up, in runs throughout the algorithms in most wargames). Based purely on attack and defence values the "value" of a fighter design is proportional to air attack per IC cost time air defence per IC cost. This is a go base point for evaluating designs and can be used as a starting point for evaluating designs BUT there are number of secondary considerations that have sufficient impact on air combat that they can't be ignored and they are all very difficult to evaluate because they are circumstantial.

The secondaries for fighters are - agility, speed and numbers. Agility and speed advantages give you significant bonuses in combat and generally the best fighters involve some concessions to speed and agility. I will often run fighters with HMG under the current HOI4 settings. Periodically some players post about running experiments where they test the impact of speed/agility factors and the optimal choice may be quite subtle. However, numbers is something that is often forgotten about. A key factor in air combat is air detection and simply having more fighters on air superiority generates more air detection. This is why air combat experiments need to be carried out with very large numbers of aircraft so that air detection is not a factor. In most situations aircraft numbers are low enough that it is a factor and hence worth considering making cheaper more numerous aircraft just to address it.

Now is a time for an aside about range. Generally it is better to have aircraft that have sufficient range to fully cover the air zones you want fly in. If you have 50% mission efficiency because of inadequate range then that is exactly like having only half as many aircraft. The problem is that range is typically in direct conflict with air defence and taking more range will increase your air combat losses.

As a side point. There is a general principle of always use the latest engines. This is important for speed and agility in fighters and carrying capacity for other types. However, for some types like torpedo bombers there is some times good reason to use old engines simply because it is a enough. A single engine torpedo bomber really only needs to have enough engine to carry a torpedo and whatever extra fuel tanks you have decided to have.

For CAS I'm just going to list some bullet points because you are probably starting to get the idea
  • CAS supporting a battle are limited to twice the combat width. This means there is a big difference between situations where you could use more CAS if you had them and situations where you have enough and you want them more effective
  • Ground AA is totally unaffected by any characteristics of the CAS you are using and therefore losses in industrial terms and simply proportional to the cost of each CAS. This means you should use cheap CAS against heavy AA and expensive CAS against low AA. The AI is generally a low AA player.
  • CAS provide bonuses to ground units based on the number of CAS supporting the battle and inflict damage based on their ground attack. This means that the value of CAS isn't measured purely in ground attack capability
  • The ultimate CAS is generally going to be a three engine tactical bomber with ground attack going up into the 50-60 range. These can be absolutely devastating but are very expensive
  • Against the AI having a CAS weapon in one slot means that, once you have air superiority, you can easily totally saturate all battles with CAS support for the basic CAS bonus for the ground units
  • It is possible to design CAS-fighters like you can design fighter-CAS. Basically a fighter with a CAS weapon in the first slot. The two types can be designed to be identical in fit but with type determined by the first weapon slot and attracting fighter or CAS type bonuses. This is significant because this can significantly impact the aircraft properties you end up with (based on doctrine, spirits, high command and MIO bonuses)
  • You need to decide whether you are building vulnerable CAS to operate only with air superiority, survivable CAS with some allowance for air defence or CAS that can go head to head with fighters
For naval bombers I often go for simple torpedo bombers (ie only weapon is the torpedo(s)) loaded up with extra fuel tanks. These are terrible if the enemy has any sort of fighter cover but nicely economical for attacking ships at sea. Range is often a critical property for these types of aircraft. However, if you are simply trying to dispute the English Channel then shorter range, cheaper, more durable aircraft may be appropriate.

Generally I'm designing aircraft to remain useful in multiple theatres which means longer range than is often needed. If you design your aircraft based on Western Europe ranges then they will be at a disadvantage over the western Soviet Union and potentially unusable further East. Currently my standard fighters have extra fuel tanks as well as drop tanks just so I have adequate range for multiple theatres. This is, of course, partly because beating the AI isn't a big issue.

A couple of example aircraft

General purpose fighter - note the bomb locks to fill out numbers for mass ground offensive

View attachment 1082112

Medium CAS - 1940 airframe with electronic modules to make it useful for strategic bombing

View attachment 1082113

WW3 ultimate CAS

View attachment 1082114
Some people were defending that agility has an impact in the survivability of CAS against AA (I don't know if its true). But even if it's not, having agility > 1 would still increase the aircraft survivability against enemy aircrafts. Shouldn't that be taking into account, especially now that aircraft are more expensive?
 
Some people were defending that agility has an impact in the survivability of CAS against AA (I don't know if its true). But even if it's not, having agility > 1 would still increase the aircraft survivability against enemy aircrafts. Shouldn't that be taking into account, especially now that aircraft are more expensive?
Agility has no effect on land based or state AA. It does reduce losses to naval AA. (well technically it reduces naval AA hit chance)
 
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Some people were defending that agility has an impact in the survivability of CAS against AA (I don't know if its true).
Only for naval AA.
But even if it's not, having agility > 1 would still increase the aircraft survivability against enemy aircrafts. Shouldn't that be taking into account, especially now that aircraft are more expensive?
Well, for TACs that's pretty much impossible: their base agility is too low to bother. For actual CAS it's all about opportunity cost: retaining more than 25% agility of a "typical" fighter, means you won't have a lot in the way of damaging the troops (technically, their primary job). Of course, that's not what you might be using CAS for (the bonus they give your troops might be enough), but in that case you might as well opt out for the first design, maybe even turning it into a "meme" CAS, which are still fairly effective.
 
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Some people were defending that agility has an impact in the survivability of CAS against AA (I don't know if its true). But even if it's not, having agility > 1 would still increase the aircraft survivability against enemy aircrafts. Shouldn't that be taking into account, especially now that aircraft are more expensive?
That was my point that there are different types of CAS depending on the expected opposition. If AA is low and you have full on aerial superiority and you have plenty of CAS then maximum ground attack above all other considerations is the way to go and that IL-28 is that beast.

Also, what everyone else said
 
That was my point that there are different types of CAS depending on the expected opposition. If AA is low and you have full on aerial superiority and you have plenty of CAS then maximum ground attack above all other considerations is the way to go and that IL-28 is that beast.

Also, what everyone else said
May I ask, could you provide an example of a CAS and a TAC for a high contested air space?
 
May I ask, could you provide an example of a CAS and a TAC for a high contested air space?
first design could be deployed in that role if you have enough of it for superiority, and you will get the bonuses. it should fare better in air to air combat than most. imo if you can only research and build one design it should be something like that. good range for light airframe, fights well for superiority, and can at least contribute in cas role if you need it.
 
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May I ask, could you provide an example of a CAS and a TAC for a high contested air space?
Take my LaGG-3M and put the bomb locks in the first slot. That's your CAS for highly contested air space. In fact you use either the CAS or the Fighter version depending on which type gets the best modifiers. For TAC the answer, for me at least, is you don't use them in highly contested air space. My take, so far at least, is that you cannot improve the survivability of any bombers sufficiently for it to be a useful change. I guess the most important point is that for anything that isn't a fighter your only air combat concern is survivability. The ability to shoot back and kill intercepting fighters is nigh on completely irrelevant.
 
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My two cents about carrier-based NAV:

You can either have a dive bomber specialized for naval battles, with dive breaks and as many AP bombs as possible. They can't port strike and only offer limited ground support for naval invasions, so outside of naval battles they aren't very useful, but in terms of raw performance they are hard to beat. Since you don't need to care about range, you can add armor plates/turrets/self-sealing fuel tanks instead if you're facing a lot of enemy fighters (air defense doesn't help against ship AA as far as I know).

Alternatively make a torpedo bomber with several regular bombs in its remaining weapon slots as secondary armament. Not as lethal in naval battles, but they can target ships at sea and in port and also effectively support landing operations. With drop/extra fuel tanks on these planes, your carriers can strike anything, anywhere.
 
You mean there is no efficiency to air mission from a carrier ? I always though you had to have enough range to cover the zone combat is
I don't have a specific source for it, but I've never seen or heard aircraft range having an effect in an ongoing battle. Realistically it shouldn't have an effect, HoI4 naval battles happen within gun range and any plane will have the range for that.

There is an efficiency stat, the sortie efficiency. It's affected by various factors, but not aircraft range afaik.
 
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You mean there is no efficiency to air mission from a carrier ? I always though you had to have enough range to cover the zone combat is taking place in.
Normal mission efficiency rules apply if you assign a mission to air groups on carriers but they do not apply if they are on the default "carrier mission". So, if you simply use them as part of the naval capability of the fleet then range isn't an issue but if you want to use them for a port strike or CAS in support of a landing then range does matter (and affects mission efficiency).
 
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a note about bomb lock fighters used as cas: you (usually) shouldn't use it against navies because it will die in droves and barely kill anything. however, there is a useful exception, and that's killing subs. subs have very limited aa capability and as a result even this general purpose mostly-fighter can be deployed effectively in an asw role. imo pretty useful, since you don't have to make specific depth charge destroyers or whatever...basic radar + convoy escort + maybe some mines will shred through subs.

stacking another multiplicative > 25% damage modifier to your own attacks while still giving the enemy an air superiority penalty is no joke. you'd prefer to do more direct bombing damage to units, but this is already great value.

finally, yesterday i tested basic bomb lock fighters in logistics strike role. considering how inexpensive these are, its interesting how much damage they do. i did late game war where ai had more trucks and trains than i was willing to wait to destroy, though i was doing good damage there. 1k fighters swapped over to log strikes started doing and maintaining building damage, putting entire area of ai divs in low supply within a couple weeks. considering you can also use this as a generic air superiority fighter and punish anything w/o tons of anti-air at least a little bit, the fact that you can also threaten divs that have aa this way makes it a very effective choice of airframe. needing lots of static aa in addition to division aa just to limit the massive penalties these can hammer on targets is a big ask for the opponent. i can see why mp bans (even if i generally don't like mp banning everything under the sun) because it implies that the nation losing air war can't push or defend, even vs infantry. even the best made meta tank divs don't function w/o fuel or supply, and no amount of armor investment will hold up once those penalties are applied to it.
 
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i can see why mp bans (even if i generally don't like mp banning everything under the sun) because it implies that the nation losing air war can't push or defend, even vs infantry. even the best made meta tank divs don't function w/o fuel or supply, and no amount of armor investment will hold up once those penalties are applied to it.
Its not necessaraly banned because of the supply disruption and railways it destroys, but the truck and train kills it gains. If you put the starting UK Tactical bombers to logibomb Western France and move all 30 starting german divs spread out (it matters) in the 4 states that make up said air zone, then you will destroy over 30 trains per month. This kind of damage is gamebreaking. Hoi4 is not balanced. But having any nation spend 30 mils on just trains is just making it worse. Now imagine bombing the entire eastern front for 1 month. Thats easily 600 dead trains. And state aa is simply to expensive. Expecially if you have a moving front.
Take my LaGG-3M and put the bomb locks in the first slot. That's your CAS for highly contested air space. In fact you use either the CAS or the Fighter version depending on which type gets the best modifiers.
Ok so this is 100% correct. The problem with this though is more of a balance issue. I dont know whether it has changed with the recent Air changes by the devs, but there was a time (not long ago, maybe 1 year) where this was better then building normal fighters. You can get more buffs to Air support mission eff then air supority mission eff. This means that a 2 fighter weapon slots plane would outperform a 3 fighter weapon slot plane on air supority. Down side was you having to start battles to kill planes. It was truly brutal to see. So if it still works like that, then let this be a warning to those who dont want to take advantage of lets say questionable game balance.
 
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