Author Topic: Devil comments  (Read 1966 times)

Offline Brooke

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Devil comments
« on: August 25, 2019, 11:42:52 PM »
No, Brooke, it won't be. And even if I did have fun, it would be in spite of this design and not because of it. Unlike most players, I can separate how much fun I personally have from how well the event is designed. The Axis players have a very low potential for fun gameplay. I'm not sure the Allies will fare too much better in this regard, but they will at least have all the advantages of plane matchups, target selection, available bases/spawns, freedom of movement, and scoring. The Allies will dominate this event in every regard and consequently, have more fun.

I do not understand how you fail to recognize the serious faults in this design - especially since you have made many of these same mistakes before and have been told by myself and other players about these kind of problems.

Here are my main problems:

1. Everything about the targets is chosen poorly. They are too spread out and the relative distances to the airspawns and bases favors the Allies. This is especially egregious with the air spawns since you chose where they are placed. The allies have a greater freedom of movement because of the fact that one air spawn is nearly equally distant from the main Allied target cluster and the outlaying target while having the luxury of a second air spawn farther west. The Axis air spawn is 2/3 of a sector farther away from their targets then the allies are with their nearest air spawn. Not only are the Axis forced to travel longer distances, but they have fewer direct routes to target areas. Regardless of radar settings and minimum bomber altitudes, this is unbalanced.

I added some circles to your map to illustrate this point. Each ring is the same, with the radius equaling the distance from center of 9,12,9(airspawn) to A109. This is the shortest distance from an air spawn to a target.



For balance, either the 9,12,9 spawn should be moved to 9,12,3; or the Axis spawn should be moved to 10,14,5.

Furthermore, The target areas are far too large for the player numbers you will have. I does not matter if you say that the "battle area is the same as Dnieper". It did not work then and it won't work now. You don't have the numbers to make defense a viable strategy with 2 target areas per side.


2. How exactly does 6 190F-8's equal the potential damage of 7 B-26's and 6 P-40F's? You tried this obviously imbalanced strike force in "Hell Over the Hinterland" and it was a colossal failure then. I expect Anzio to be no different.

Now I understand the historical limitations you are dealing with as any Axis bomber would be purely fiction. But having over double the number of attackers available to the Allies is not the solution. You can claim(correctly) that the P-40 is a lesser fighterbomber than a 190F, but it would take a ridiculous amount of 190's to balance the B-26's. The ability to score points on the offense severely favors the Allies based on pure numbers alone.

Maybe 7 B-25C's and 6 P-40F's would be balanced? But the Allied players hold such an unreasonable stigma over the B-25C that you won't entertain the thought of including that plane even if does make more sense for balance.

Another solution would be to change the event to an Allied only attack design.


3. The B-26 itself presents a problem. I believe you underestimate how strong it is against a mid-war Luftwaffe plane set.

These are the B-26 loss rate numbers from Pantelleria.

Frame 1
63 B-26's(21 sets) 0 shot down (not intercepted at all?)

Frame 2
39 B-26's(13 sets) 17 shot down. 46% loss rate

Frame 3
45 B-26's(15 sets) 5 shot down. 11% loss rate

Frame 4
45 B-26's(15 sets) 3 Shot down. 7% loss rate.

Frame 2-4 Averages.
43 B-26's.  8.3 Shot down. 18% average loss rate.

Even if we assume as a worst case scenario that the Frame 2 numbers will be typical in this event, the scoring dictates that the Allies will turn a profit every single sortie if just four B-26 pilots drop successfully.

Let's look at another factor from Pantelleria Frame 2. Of the 13 sets taken, 6 resulted in either a totally missed drop or total destruction of the set before the target. The other 7 sets dropped successfully. They earned 17.5 bombing points over the frame using this points system while only losing 17 for planes lost. That is not even factoring in the 2 kills they also achieved. That's 19.5 total points gained for a loss of only 17 in a worst case scenario for the B-26's.

You cannot realistically expect the Axis to shoot down 50% of the B-26 every mission. That simply will not happen and that is what will be required for them to achieve a points advantage in this aspect.

Defending against the B-26's is a losing proposition as is not defending against them. The Axis cannot win under any circumstances.

If you can not or will not create a balanced event, why should I or anyone else participate in it?

Offline hazmatt

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 02:23:07 AM »
I looked at the plane set and my personal opinion is that if the axis gonna have a fighting chance they would need at least the g14 with the spit 8 involved. Also, I'd rather have the G2 then the G6 vs that allied plane set.

I'm betting on an axis slaughter with very low turnout on the axis side. Let me know how it goes :)

Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 02:35:46 AM »
Hello, Devil.

I don't think the 9.12 spawn difference is significant, but if so, it doesn't matter to move the spawn farther back then either -- so I'm fine with that.  I'll bring it up with the other CM's, and if no one objects, I'll move it back a bit.

One thing to keep in mind is that scenarios with attack missions need at least two target areas, at least a couple sectors apart, and need to allow attackers to go NOE if there is radar.  That way, a side typically cannot defend all targets all the time and must instead choose what to prioritize on defense.  The goal is a setup where attackers end up sometimes getting intercepted prior to target and sometimes not, depending on what they and the opponent do.  If we designed it with all targets covered all the time, attackers would get intercepted every time and fail every time, which is both miserable for attack pilots and not historical for most of the tactical battles we are themed on.

All scenarios to date with attack missions have these features, including:  Nuisance Raids, Pantelleria, Kuban, Rabaul, Hinterland, Tunisia, Dnieper, Southern Conquest, The Pacific War, Battle of Britain 2013, Med. Maelstrom, Winter Sky, Enemy Coast Ahead, Philippine Phandango, Red Storm, Coral Sea, Dawn of Battle, BoB 2008, Husky, BoB 2006, Downfall, Stalin's Fourth, Coral Sea, and BoB 2004.

1.

Once we put together historical bases, historical target locations, using the AH terrain we have, balance it as best we figure, and put in the above design elements, the sides are not going to be the same.  Here, assuming 9.12 is moved back, access to defense areas and target areas looks similar enough.  Axis has more bases to land at than the allies, outside the presumed main battle areas of a95 and Anzio to land at, but that is historical.  Axis has p106 and a108 for flashing and throwing up ack, including lots of puffy ack, in between the allied bases, but that is just how the layout must be.

Dnieper, by the way, was one of the most-popular scenarios, and was one of the most-active scenarios of all time.  I would say it did work.

2.

The points are not made so that 6 190F's equals 6 P-40's plus 7 B-26's.  The design is made so that 6 190F's equal 6 P-40's (yes, 190's are better, but we are focusing more on attack here, and allies are less picky about every particle of how their planes match up) and 7 B-26's are worth on average zero.

How is that?  As you point out, the general idea is that if a B-26 formation gets to target, hits it, and lands, it gets +3 points for its side.  If a B-26 formation goes up and is shot down short of target, it gets -3 points for its side (+3 for the other side).  If it goes up, hits its target, and is shot down, it gets +0 points.  If half the B-26's make it to target and get back, that is +0 points.  Half of bombers getting to target and back is very approximately about what happens on average in scenarios.  You can find some scenarios where it is more, and some where it is less.  See below for what is probably the best analog to this setup, and how that stacked up.

Actually here, we have cut down the points for level bombers to +2.5, but the general idea is the same.

B-25C's aren't in for two reasons.  One is that they don't fill, and the bomber pilots who flew them last (who are core bomber pilots in scenarios, and who are fine with flying Ju 88's, not sissies who need only the best things to fly) all told me afterwards that they didn't want to fly B-25C's again.  The second reason is that the B-25's flown in Operations Shingle and Strangle were, apparently, B-25J's.  And B-25J's are about the same as B-26's -- about the same speed, same defensive gunnery.  So, you can think of the B-26's in Anzio as B-25J's if you want.

3.

B-26's are good bombers.  But B-26's at 14k are not as difficult as B-17's at 25k under a cloud of US speedsters at 35k, yet these same axis planes do fine there.  My best ever was seven B-17's in my 109G-6 with gondolas in a frame of Big Week.  I think folks can do fine in the excellent 190A's and 190G's.

I don't think Pantelleria is a good Anzio analog, for several significant reasons.  I think Hinterland frames 1 and 4 are better for that (but not frames 2 and 3, as the bombers were completely ignored in those frames).  Frame 1 had 21 bomber aircraft shot down and 8 Successful Drops (out of 20 pilot-sorties), for a net score of 3 points.  Frame 4 had 40 bomber aircraft shot down and 13 Successful Drops (out of 24 pilot-sorties), for a net score of -1 points.  That is basically a wash for bombers, most of which were shot down by 109G's.

I think the Luftwaffe can do fine.

Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 03:18:10 AM »
190A-5's in scenarios are better than Spit 9's.  We 190A's dominated Spit 9's in Enemy Coast Ahead.
190A-5's and 109G's are both better in low-alt scenarios than P-47D-11's.  In my 109G-6, I licked my chops when meeting P-47's below 20k.
190A-5's, 109G's, and 190F's are all vastly better in scenarios than P-40F's.  P-40's?  Come on.

The Luftwaffe can handle six Spit 8's added to that mix.

Ye gods, where is Stampf?


Offline hazmatt

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 03:29:01 AM »
Why not add 6 g14s? or 6 g2s? I'd feel like I had a better chance against an 8 with either of those :)

Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2019, 04:05:51 AM »
Why not add 6 g14s? or 6 g2s? I'd feel like I had a better chance against an 8 with either of those :)

I'll ask if they were there in any significant numbers, but we probably have what was correctly there.

Keep in mind, though:  You aren't going to be fighting only Spit 8's, as there are only six of them in the battle.  Your 109G is better than all the other allied planes, and you're as fast on wep on the deck as a Spit 8.  Also, just because Spit 9's, P-47D-11's, and P-40F's are not as good as LW planes in this setup, we aren't going give those guys Spit 16's, P-47M's, and P-51B's.

Offline Devil 505

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2019, 05:32:04 PM »
Why not add 6 g14s? or 6 g2s? I'd feel like I had a better chance against an 8 with either of those :)

The G-2/G-4 is long gone by 1944. The MTO units that had them were completely in G-6's by August 1943.

Even if you were to make the case that a G-14 was a stand in for a late production G-6, there is no evidence of any G-6's in Italy having any of the late equipment at the time of the Anzio battles. These were bog standard G-6's.   
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Offline Guppy35

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2019, 09:00:44 PM »
Brooke, just to clarify on the B25C.  It was the primary bird for Shingle and still much involved in Strangle.  They were still going strong when Vesuvius blew in March of 44.  Many of the early 25s were wrecked by the ash from the volcano and replaced by 25Js. The first J's started arriving in early 44 but were mixed in with the 25C/Ds that were still in operation.

As an aside, consider that our old Buddy Earl Miller was still flying 39s with the 350th during that time.  They didn't transition to Jugs until August of 44!
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Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2019, 10:50:25 PM »
Brooke, just to clarify on the B25C. 

According to "B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO", by Pace, squadrons of XII Bomber Command started getting B-25J's while still in North Africa.  A couple examples:  "Truly a combat veteran, B-25J The Early Bird III saw much action with the 487th BS/340th BG in 1943."  "B-25J-1 43-27747/PEGGY LOU of 1Lt Michael Murphy, 445th BS/321st BG, Soliman, Tunisia, 27 August 1943."  Also, from what I read therein, while not all squadrons got B-25J's at the same time, and while groups continued to have C's, D's, G's, and H's, it seems like J's were more prevalent than C's by Jan-June, 1944.

However, even if that is not the case, given that half the groups in XII Bomber Command were B-26 units, and given that bomber pilots will not fill B-25C's regardless, we went with B-26's.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 10:55:32 PM by Brooke »

Offline Arlo

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2019, 12:01:02 AM »
... our old Buddy Earl Miller ...

I miss him.

Offline Guppy35

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2019, 09:27:12 PM »
According to "B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO", by Pace, squadrons of XII Bomber Command started getting B-25J's while still in North Africa.  A couple examples:  "Truly a combat veteran, B-25J The Early Bird III saw much action with the 487th BS/340th BG in 1943."  "B-25J-1 43-27747/PEGGY LOU of 1Lt Michael Murphy, 445th BS/321st BG, Soliman, Tunisia, 27 August 1943."  Also, from what I read therein, while not all squadrons got B-25J's at the same time, and while groups continued to have C's, D's, G's, and H's, it seems like J's were more prevalent than C's by Jan-June, 1944.

However, even if that is not the case, given that half the groups in XII Bomber Command were B-26 units, and given that bomber pilots will not fill B-25C's regardless, we went with B-26's.

Don't believe everything you read :)   Picture worth a thousand words and all that.  Sure look like C/Ds.  These would have been taken March 23,1944 and after.  Not complaining btw, just want to get the history a bit closer to the truth.  No problem with 26s as they were sure there too.







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Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019, 10:39:43 PM »
Don't believe everything you read :)   Picture worth a thousand words and all that.

There are plenty of pictures of B-25J's in that time period.

---- Pictures -----

Photographic plates in "B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO", by Pace:

B-25J-1 43-27498/SUNDAY PUNCH of Capt Richard Robinson, 82nd BS/12th BG, Foggia, Italy, 24 October 1943

B-25J-10 43-36099 of 1Lt John Marlow, 440th BS/319th BG, Djedeida, Tunisia, 7 July 1944

B-25J-1 43-27747/PEGGY LOU of 1Lt Michael Murphy, 445th BS/321st BG, Soliman, Tunisia, 27 August 1943

B-25J-15 44-29090/WHO CARES? of 1Lt Billy McVee, 486th BS/340th BG, Rimini, Italy, 13 May 1944

B-25J-5 43-27900/BOTTOMS-UP II of 1Lt Clarence Morton, 486th BS/340th BG, Gaudo, Italy, 12 March 1944

Battle-weary B-25J-1 43-27700 was assigned to the 486th BS at Rimini, in Italy in mid 1944 (USAF)

The rear gunnerís position of 488th BS B-25J-10 43-36230 is prepared for a combat mission by squadron armourers at Gaudo, in Italy, in the spring of 1944 (Boeing via Peter M Bowers).

486th BS B-25J-1 43-27784 approaches Alesan airfield, on Corsica in early 1944 (Boeing via Peter M Bowers)

486th BS B-25J-5 43-27900/BOTTOMS-UP II, flown by 1Lt Clarence Morton, approaches the airfield at Gaudo in March 1944. Note the yellow-primered engine fairings and tailplane centre section (Boeing via Peter M Bowers)

B-25J-25 44-30092 of the 12th BG is seen overflying Italy for the last time in March 1944. Just visible on its wing centre-section, painted in red, is the message FIN TO BENITO NEXT HIROHITO. The 12th BG left the MTO to fight the Japanese from bases in India in the early spring of 1944 (USAF)

---- Tail guns on B-25C's -----

Apparently, there were B-25C/D's that had tail guns, making them (for scenario purposes) much more similar to J's than to C's we get to use.  See leftmost B-25 in your first pic and B-25 in your last pic.

Also, of the five B-25C pics dated Jan-June, 1944 in the aforementioned book, several have tail guns.

---- Other ----

There are things like this, too:

"The first ten days of May saw the group going after railway bridges between Chiusi and Orvieto, in Italy. With the 310th now devoting its attention to targets on land, all of its remaining B-25G/Hs were phased out of squadron service. The group now operated B-25C/D/Js, with the C- and D-models being somewhat war-weary."

Offline Guppy35

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2019, 11:50:51 PM »
From "The B-25 over the Mediterranean" in the section covering the 310th BG and the Month of May 1944  "During the month all B-25G and H aircraft had been phased out of the several squadrons and now the Group's aircraft complement comprised only C's, D's and J's.  The silver unpainted J's had come into the squadrons in late April had to  be covered on the ground with  camouflage netting, much to the distress of the ground crews who would rather have seen them painted like the rest of the aircraft, even if they had to do it themselves"   Which in fact they ended up doing. 

Same book regarding the 340th BG (Joseph Heller's Catch 22 group)  "After the disastrous German air raid in May 1944 improved dispersal was pushed for the aircraft.  Before the raid the planes were lined up in a row because the area for wider dispersal of the aircraft was not completed.  Another result of the raid is we were almost completely re-equipped with new B-25J aircraft."

From "North American B-25 Mitchell the ultimate look" by William Wolf.  "The first USAAF acceptance (of the B-25J) took place in March of 44".  The 12th AF 25s were all on Corsica at that time so 25Js in Tunisia or North Africa with them, is not accurate.

From "The Saga of 54 and More-The Story of the 310th Bombardment Group (M)" by Charles Hair.  "In April 1944 Transfer of C and D model began as replacement J models started arriving."

So the earliest you'd have 25Js is late April 44 as the USAAF only accepted the first J in March of 44.  To get them out to the units wasn't an overnight thing and all the documentation confirms that. 

Again, just to be clear, I'm not advocating change, just wanting to clear up the use of the J model in the MTO.   I'd also suggest the book "USS Corsica" by Dominique Taddei.  Massive and expensive but if you want a great history of the 25s of the 12th AF during the time of the scenario, it's the one :)
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Offline Brooke

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019, 12:55:50 AM »
Getting more B-25J's in April and March is OK for an event that spans Jan-June.

Quote
"The first USAAF acceptance (of the B-25J) took place in March of 44".

Or that sentence is less accurate, and these pictures and their detailed descriptions are more accurate:

B-25J-1 43-27498/SUNDAY PUNCH of Capt Richard Robinson, 82nd BS/12th BG, Foggia, Italy, 24 October 1943 SUNDAY PUNCH was one of only a handful of Ďsolid-nosedí B-25Js to see service with the 12th BG. It was one of 24 Mitchells (six from each squadron) that the 12th BG sortied on 24 October 1943 to bomb the town of Formia, in Italy. Three aircraft, including SUNDAY PUNCH, were flak holed on this mission, but all returned safely to base.

B-25J-1 43-27747/PEGGY LOU of 1Lt Michael Murphy, 445th BS/321st BG, Soliman, Tunisia, 27 August 1943 On 27 August 1943, this B-25J ran into heavy flak whilst dropping six 500-lb bombs on the Benevento railroad yards near Naples, in southern Italy. It was holed more than 80 times, but still returned safely across the Mediterranean to Soliman. Three other B-25s in this 18-aeroplane formation were not so lucky, being shot down over the target.

Truly a combat veteran, B-25J The Early Bird III saw much action with the 487th BS/340th BG in 1943. Thankfully, the significance of its nose-art remains a mystery! The Early Bird III survived rather longer in the frontline than the groupís original CO, Col Mills, who was shot down and killed over Furney, in Algeria, on 6 May 1943 while leading one of the groupís early missions (Harry D George Jr Collection).

To be clear, I'm not saying that the XII Bomber Command didn't have C's and D's during Jan-June, 1944 -- it did.

I'm saying that it had a significant number of J's at some point during Jan-June, 1944 according to the reference I cited.

I'm also saying that, based on pictures (yours and mine), some C's/D's had tail guns, which makes them more like J's to us.

Offline Guppy35

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Re: Devil comments
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2019, 12:26:49 PM »
Brooke the dates on those Js is wrong. Itís as simple as that.  The solid nose Js were later than the glass nose version that arrived in April 44.  Iíll get the specifics on them later at home just to clarify the correct dates
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