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Victory in Europe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Aircraft pinning and stacking rss

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D Clevenger
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Air units are limited to one per per player per area, correct? Which seems weird that fighters cannot escort bombers. But any who, I wondered if fighters could pin enemy fighters but the rules say the defender decides which unit is pinned. So a fighter can only pin an enemy fighter if the enemy fighter is alone.

So is is worth it to use bombers against factories if enemy fighters can pretty much hammer them? Hopefully I'm doing something wrong.
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chuckster williams
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Actually this may be very accurate. Air crews took extremely high casualties. And for most of the war, they did fly without escort. At the very least, you are tying down German fighters for the defense of the Fatherland. Late in the war you can use your P51 to go on fighter sweeps inside Germany. Then you can send in your bombers. Lastly, the effectiveness of the bombing campaign is still being debated today. With all that said, it does feel a little weird allowing only one AC unit to a region. Maybe this is for play balance? In other words, it makes the bomber units too strong.
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ralph kramden
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Yes, having multiple air units caused some issues, I believe. Furthermore, since these blocks represent huge units (equivalent of 4 or more army corps), this limit was needed (I believe) to restrict the number of aircraft that could be based in a given area.
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D Clevenger
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Ok cool. This will make bombing quite a challenge but maybe that's ok. Losing a factory is brutal.
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John Griffey
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If you're Player 2 and there is no enemy block in the enemy Factory's area your Bomber is assured a clean shot at the Factory. Even if there is a block you may have a good hunch it's not a Fighter block.

If the enemy as Player 1 leaves his Fighter blocks at his Factory areas, then your Bombers are free to attack elsewhere, and the enemy has put his Fighters to no good use.

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Ron Draker
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John is correct in his analysis. Both sides do not have enough fighters to protect all factories and support their frontline battles.
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Vernon Etzel
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I'm fine with 1-air stacking. Makes sense in context of the overall game. But as the OP said, Player 1 fighters can't force combat against enemy fighters unless they happen to be alone.

Fighters become air cover for a single area. A type of rock, paper scissors since you don't know what type of air the opponent may have.
 
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Vernon Etzel
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After playing a few games, it appears bombers are simply decimated if they get tagged by a 3-factor fighter unit. No real way around it.
 
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Matthew Taylor
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txaal wrote:
Ok cool. This will make bombing quite a challenge but maybe that's ok. Losing a factory is brutal.


No more than loosing any other 3 PP unit. Loosing one point of factory costs you 1 PP next turn in lost production and 2 PP to replace. Annoying, but hardly brutal.

True the bombers could get lucky and take out several factory steps, but then the factories can get lucky and take out a bomber step.
 
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Matthew Taylor
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ralph123 wrote:
Yes, having multiple air units caused some issues, I believe. Furthermore, since these blocks represent huge units (equivalent of 4 or more army corps), this limit was needed (I believe) to restrict the number of aircraft that could be based in a given area.


I think this was an unfortunate design choice. The strategic bombing campaign was a constant thing, not a quarterly focus with massive assets in a discrete attack. It would have been better to not have HB units at all, but rather strategic bombing units that included their fighter escorts, but that would only model the US and German daylight raids, not the British and later German night raids.

Perhaps air units could all have been limited to 1 or 2 steps and then air units could double stack.
 
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Michael Dworkin
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Several commenters have noted, sometimes critically, that bombers are terribly vulnerable if caught by defensive fighters in VE.

I think an underlying issue here is that popular history and media portray the Allied heavy bomber raids of 1942-mid 44 as a success, when reality showed them as a serious failure -- note the unacceptable loss rate of the Regensberg and Schweinfurt and Ploesti efforts, a loss rate so bad that they lead to the discontinuation of deep heavy daylight raids for about half a year. In effect, the Allies tried to use unescorted bombers for two reasons (first doctrinal: 'the bomber will always get through" and second pragmatic: pre-44 fighters had insufficient range to operate far from airbases --even with drop tanks, once the Lufwaffe learned that an early interception could force drop tanks to be dropped largely unused). The 'separated-type' counters in VE may seem unreal or "silly" to some commenters; but they actually follow the historical pattern pretty closely and, thus, are likely to expose a deep penetration bombing campaign to very high pp costs in losses.

It was not until well into 1944 that heavy bomber raids were launched with much success, and even then the heavies were often diverted to either tactical use (in the Normandy break out) or operational use (on communications lines isolating the invasion area), rather than on strategic bombing.

Thus, a game that makes the heavy bomber raids terribly risky and costly to the attackers is true to history, but unexpected to the children and grandchildren of the bomber forces -- and to viewers and readers of movies, television, and lighter history.

By the way, the US Strategic Bombing Survey immediately after the war showed shockingly low effectiveness for the bomber raids that did go through. To take 2 examples: daylight raids had almost no impact on production until the second half of 1944 and, of night raids, less than 50% of bombs fell within five miles of target if I remember correctly.

By the way, this post is, in large part, an expansion and affirmation of phulovet's March 1 comment, above, which I have 'tipped' because I understand and agree with almost all of it.... I still have not figured out how 'fighter sweeps' work, so I don't know if I agree with that line of his post, but the rest seems to be 'spot-on.'
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