The Aircraft/Anti-Aircraft paradox.

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    • The Aircraft/Anti-Aircraft paradox.

      Aircrafts, especially Tactical Bombers, have a high status in this forum. People say it is useful, it is well rounded, not too expensive etc. I dont agree, and i have a reason why.
      I am currently playing as France, 25p map, day 21. I have listened to BMFox, and i built the strongest AirForce in the game, which consisted of around 15 tactical bombers. It isnt close to being a lot, i hear people use 15 planes in stacks, but apparently people in my games dont produce planes. They have a reason why thought. The paradox lays in the fact that after day 10, atleast 60% of the players go inactive. That brings us to AI production, where the AI's prodiction focus is terrible and it consists mostly of AA-guns. Players that are active tend to not produce either AA or Aircraft at all, and their focus is on tanks, infantry, arty etc. While i fought with active players, fully defeated Italy and Germany, AI have been at peace and produced a lot of AA guns, even SP AA. After a while (around days 15-20), AI is able to have atleast 4 AA guns in every province of theirs. So my question is, what is the use of Aircrafts? To summarize, people go inactive, AI build a lot of AA and you get stuck in a situation where you cant attack at all because there is so much AA.

      Example: I had a clear sight of Netherlands troops today and i saw them have 16 units in one province. I couldnt believe at first, i thought it is a force to be dealt with! Until, i realise: It is 1 AC, 1 light tank, 1 milita and 13 (THIRTEEN) AA guns! It is ridicilous!
      This was kind of a rant, i would like to hear opinions, I will admit i havent been ay war with much experts and experienced players, but for some time the game basically became a template where the mechanism gets repeated over and over again. Thoughts? I hope i was clear and understandable.
    • You gave the answer yourself: planes are great if the opponent doesnt have planes or huge stacks of AA. If he has, search for another key to the lock.

      One of the most prevalent myths in this forum has to do with the all-powerful planes. Yes they are IF you have air supremacy. But still they would take enormous damage to beat a stack that contains 8 AA of proper level.
    • atreas1 wrote:

      You gave the answer yourself: planes are great if the opponent doesnt have planes or huge stacks of AA. If he has, search for another key to the lock.

      One of the most prevalent myths in this forum has to do with the all-powerful planes. Yes they are IF you have air supremacy. But still they would take enormous damage to beat a stack that contains 8 AA of proper level.
      I know that. This was meant to be a community rant and a slight propaganda to not go inactive. The AI will only produce AA, and further production of Aiplanes would be ridicilous. If people didnt go inactive, it would be a more balanced game where you would need some spies to find out his weaknesses, you would have to work on your weakness and it would all have sense. While here all you do is spam infantry in cities and tanks in plain land. It is getting out of hand. Hope i expained it a bit.
    • You gave the answer yourself: players mainly make mostly artillery, infantry and tanks and no AA. This is a sitting duck for bombers and they will die quickly. Very important is that your stack contains 10 planes: 5 tactical bombers and 5 interceptors. The interceptors will absorb the damage that otherwise the tacs would be taking. For stacks of 10 planes will kill everything in their path even it the stack contains a couple of AA. When the stack has 4 or more AA then it will hurt a bit but with 20 bombers and 20 interceptors it's going down.

      For the AI: it is important to understand AI mechanics. AI produce a lot of AA and AT so you should attack an AI with mainly artillery and infantry. The artillery attacks the AI stack, the stack will split up to attack you and your infantry will defend while the artillery keeps bombarding. Now when the AI stack splits up, in a lot of cases one of the two stacs doesn't contain AA anymore and can be taken down with bombers. Furthermore, bombers are excellent scouts due to their big range. Knowing what troops it has gives you the opportunity to move faster.

      Whatever you might encounter in a game, I have met little players that were able to win a fight once 40 planes are patrolling overhead.
      BMfox
      Moderator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh
    • BMfox wrote:

      You gave the answer yourself: players mainly make mostly artillery, infantry and tanks and no AA. This is a sitting duck for bombers and they will die quickly. Very important is that your stack contains 10 planes: 5 tactical bombers and 5 interceptors. The interceptors will absorb the damage that otherwise the tacs would be taking. For stacks of 10 planes will kill everything in their path even it the stack contains a couple of AA. When the stack has 4 or more AA then it will hurt a bit but with 20 bombers and 20 interceptors it's going down.
      40 planes? It is better to produce infantry and tanks to deal with AA then overproduce Airplanes that will be once used, because they will lose some health and wont be ready for a new war.

      BMfox wrote:




      For the AI: it is important to understand AI mechanics. AI produce a lot of AA and AT so you should attack an AI with mainly artillery and infantry. The artillery attacks the AI stack, the stack will split up to attack you and your infantry will defend while the artillery keeps bombarding. Now when the AI stack splits up, in a lot of cases one of the two stacs doesn't contain AA anymore and can be taken down with bombers. Furthermore, bombers are excellent scouts due to their big range. Knowing what troops it has gives you the opportunity to move faster.
      I know that mechanism, i think it works with naval bombardment aswell. Assuming that i dont have too much units, i would use arty when i am sure what he has in province, not to blind bomb.

      BMfox wrote:




      Whatever you might encounter in a game, I have met little players that were able to win a fight once 40 planes are patrolling overhead
      While you produce 40 planes, i would produce 20-25 just to keep those planes busy while i attack from the ground. You said that you would use that against a PLAYER, i use planes against PLAYERS, as well, but not so much against the AI. Thanks for replying tho.
    • hakijaa wrote:

      40 planes? It is better to produce infantry and tanks to deal with AA then overproduce Airplanes that will be once used, because they will lose some health and wont be ready for a new war.
      Well the AA isn't standing by itself, it is in a stack. If you attack that stack with infantry and tanks they will lose health too so what's the difference? You can still lock the stack in combat with your tanks and infantry while pounding it with artillery and bombing it with bombers. You focus too much on a single troop type which is tanks and you end up in a tank vs tank war and the player with the biggest amount wins. Diversify your army and attack smart to prevent losses. At least half of my army is planes, this way when someone invades me i pull back my planes and deal with it swiftly. Just finished a Homefront map in 15 days and had 50 planes. No player is prepared for that. With that amount of planes you don't take a lot of damage and they heal every day change. 100 planes for a player on a 100 map is no exception.

      hakijaa wrote:

      While you produce 40 planes, i would produce 20-25 just to keep those planes busy while i attack from the ground. You said that you would use that against a PLAYER, i use planes against PLAYERS, as well, but not so much against the AI. Thanks for replying tho.
      Learn how to walk first before you start running so start by attacking one player at a time and avoid wars with multiple players. Your strategy isn't working so try something new. Furthermore, you won't know that i have 40 planes before it's too late. If you used spies i'll still be ahead in production and knowledge. It's likely that my land and economy will be bigger so i can produce more troops then you. You are nothing with a land army if you don't have planes to protect them. Same goes for players with an island or coastal. Your army can be as big as you want but if you meet an enemy navy you will go down. Diversity is the key!
      BMfox
      Moderator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh
    • As you play more, you should find that tanks really aren't that good, due to their vulnerabilities to air mainly. This is why so many more experienced players are very happy to see an opponent focus on tanks. As BMFox has said, you need to diversify, artillery is a much better choice because you can take no damage. You always should prefer taking no damage, and that's why using artillery is better than running around with infantry/tanks.
    • I really also think that planes are somewhat over rated. Their HP drop to 20 and the increased oil use clipped their wings considerably. I never have more than 5 tacs in my entire army now a days (mind exceptions).

      Planes are weird. They do their job badly early game due to unimpressive stats in the beginning. On top of this they are very expensive, even more so because you need to build air fields to move them around. Later on they have a lot of enemies and perform badly against big stacks with a big variety of units. Every unit doing a little damage to airplanes is hard for them.

      A division with, for example: AC, infantry, moto infantry, mech infantry, commandos, AA, SP AA, LT, MT, TD, arty and SP arty in it will be hard to deal with for airplanes. The damage spread is troublesome and every unit doing a little damage gets the better of the planes in the end it seems to me. Whatever you lose in the big division on the ground is likely to be cheaper than what the enemy loses in planes. I never get wrecked by enemy planes as far as I can remember.
    • Edepedable wrote:

      A division with, for example: AC, infantry, moto infantry, mech infantry, commandos, AA, SP AA, LT, MT, TD, arty and SP arty in it will be hard to deal with for airplanes. The damage spread is troublesome and every unit doing a little damage gets the better of the planes in the end it seems to me. Whatever you lose in the big division on the ground is likely to be cheaper than what the enemy loses in planes. I never get wrecked by enemy planes as far as I can remember.
      Never say never, I've never seen a stack like you describe before though. If I would encounter a stack like that i wouldn't just counter it with my land forces, shell it with arty and patroll overhead. What you describe here is a rare and all or nothing situation.
      BMfox
      Moderator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh
    • It is not necessary to have the "perfect" land stack. Even a worse one will do - as long as there are enough AA. The key is what he said, that the losses you have on the air will be far more expensive than the ground unit losses.

      Of course, against AI anything works. Against a human player air superiority of 2:1 does exactly nothing, with correct strategy. Certainly, those extra planes will be missing from the ground, and in the ground the battle will be lost.

      That does NOT mean that planes are useless or bad. It simply means that the strategy is much more complex than that, and planes alone cannot win. Knowledge of the enemy army and application of the correct countermeasures is the key.

      Another key factor (often overlooked) is that AA dont have a SBDE penalty for overstacking, because they use the defensive values against planes. That, of course, makes things even worse for the planes.
    • I never said to use planes alone. Using one type of branch alone is the road to failure. If you would only have infantry or only armor or only planes you will be done fast. The key is to have troop variation. Land units are there to take care of stacks with AA in them but every stack with little or no AA will be easy picking for my planes. The fact is that 95% of the players have only little air force and AA and too many armor what makes them vulnerable. The 5% that have sufficient AA are obligated to make bigger stacks to protect them against planes what also makes him moving very slow. This means i can slip trough the lines easily because not all grounds will be covered. When you have air dominance, your ground troops can move faster and more freely. All successful players have a healthy amount of air, infantry and armor, try to take as less damage as possible and only engage when needed.
      BMfox
      Moderator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh
    • BMfox wrote:

      Never say never, I've never seen a stack like you describe before though. If I would encounter a stack like that i wouldn't just counter it with my land forces, shell it with arty and patroll overhead. What you describe here is a rare and all or nothing situation.
      In PL it is just about all you see. Players do not leave their units around in stacks that can easily be dealt with by airplanes. Knowing full well that if it is week 2 and you lose 1 division of 15 units out of a 100 unit total army and you have been putting an effort into building units that your enemy also has around 100 units and now, you are 15% weaker than your enemy. That can get you killed, other players also see it in the papers. So yes, forming big armies to shield from airplane raids is common. Up to a point where I consider airplanes a waste of resources because they are to expensive and drop like flies.

      Also, players in PL tend to know the game very well. So you will not get away with building only 1 lane of airfields. The airfield behind will be demoloshed by spies or rockets at which point the airplanes are just food. So you have to have a LOT of airfields and with the expenses of airplanes themselves I tend not to make the airforce my main branch. There is just so much else you can do with that oil.
    • It is just what I call "myths" about the game - which are based to a huge degree on what you see most of the players doing in simple games. It is true that there you see lots of tanks and neglect of the airforce and of the air defense - of course, under these conditions planes are super strong. When the opponent believes that he is strong because he is sending 3 stacks of 5 LT, then surely planes are the easiest counter.

      For me (due to gaming background) it is essential to go always one step further: to think HOW EASY it will be to counter the strategy i pursue. Essentially I am playing two games in one - the second one against myself - and under examination I find it quite easy to counter a planes strategy. Of course, between comparable economies, otherwise almost all strategies win by sheer numbers.
    • atreas1 wrote:

      For me (due to gaming background) it is essential to go always one step further: to think HOW EASY it will be to counter the strategy i pursue. Essentially I am playing two games in one - the second one against myself - and under examination I find it quite easy to counter a planes strategy. Of course, between comparable economies, otherwise almost all strategies win by sheer numbers.
      I do the exact same thing! With every strategy I come up with I think about how my enemy should/could counter and I make sure that I am prepared for that.

      It is very true that the largest economy can win no matter what it decides to do. I once saw a coalition member train up to 100 light tanks that he just ran through enemies in divisions of 10. Because their economies were smaller there was nothing they could do. They could not focus enough fire power to deal with all the divisions at the same time. I'm pretty sure the same goes for most other direct fire units. Very costly, but if your economy can support it, a very rewarding strategy indeed. Though I do not recommend it if there are still other players around on the map that are equally big or just as big when they combine. It is also very fun to do :p
    • Funny thing about planes that I had not mentioned yet is that their use can lead to very gimmicky but funny play styles. Say, I do not build a lot of aircraft, as I tend to do. I only have 5 bombers and 10 interceptors. I use 5 int and 5 tac to take out lone units, that are not anti-air but I prefer not to show my aircraft at all. The bombers that is. I use the other 5 interceptors to do some scouting. So my airforce counts 15. I do however, make plenty of airfields, also some with level 2 airfields so that I can build them somewhat fast, if need be.

      Now there is a number of things that usually happen.
      1) enemies put lots of anti-air in with their divisions regardless of me not having much of an airforce. This means that all the resources they put into these anti-air defenses are wasted with me as their enemy. On the other side of the spectrum I save on resources by not building expensive aircraft. So I have resources left to build other things. This somewhat evens out with the anti-air that I do build since most enemies heavily use aircraft.
      However, my advantage lies in that enemy anti-air, as well as their interceptors (flying anti-air/damage soakers are a bit if a waste. Also their upkeep is higher and I have more units for the same upkeep.

      2) they realize that I do not use aircraft. Thus, they stop putting anti-air into their divisions. This is when I start building more aircraft. And of course that means they lose units fast when more planes arive shortly after. Takes some planning, but can be very rewarding.

      3) after step 2, I sell my aircraft to an ally. Makes them happy and makes me rich. Also this means that, since the newspaper is read and allies can see how I fought their buddy, they think I use a lot of aircraft. Thus step 1 applies again.

      Fun times all around.
    • hakijaa wrote:

      Yeah. If we use 3 points to determine my military diversity (meaning that 1 point land 1 navy and 1 air is the most diverse), i would get a 2.8 on land, 0.2 on air and 0 on navy. Seems to work just fine. The only times where i go for Navy is when play as UK, or USA when Canada/Mexico is inactive.
      I like that way of explaining. I think I'm about a 2.5 on land, a 0.45 navy and a 0.05 on air. Although at times air shoots up to about 1.25 as land comes down to 1.25 in comparison if my enemy indeed does not seem to have anti-air defenses. I use the navy as subs mainly to defend coasts and gain intel. Not having planes around leaves a lot of oil open for these kind of things. I also have at least a couple of naval bombers around to scout for subs that might be scouting my coasts.
    • Edepedable wrote:

      hakijaa wrote:

      Yeah. If we use 3 points to determine my military diversity (meaning that 1 point land 1 navy and 1 air is the most diverse), i would get a 2.8 on land, 0.2 on air and 0 on navy. Seems to work just fine. The only times where i go for Navy is when play as UK, or USA when Canada/Mexico is inactive.
      I like that way of explaining. I think I'm about a 2.5 on land, a 0.45 navy and a 0.05 on air. Although at times air shoots up to about 1.25 as land comes down to 1.25 in comparison if my enemy indeed does not seem to have anti-air defenses. I use the navy as subs mainly to defend coasts and gain intel. Not having planes around leaves a lot of oil open for these kind of things. I also have at least a couple of naval bombers around to scout for subs that might be scouting my coasts.
      I resoect your opinion, but if i see a sub that is patrolling my coast and the sub of the country is at peace with me, i will absolutely keep an eye on that country and maybe even attack first.
      Subs can be useful for scouting, if you wanna build a solid navy that you can use throw in some destroyers and goodbye. Not gonna lie, i like to produce some cruisers so i can bomb enemy land units, and its seems to be effective aswell.