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Subject: Bomber availability rss

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David A
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So I've got a couple plays under my belt so far and I'm really enjoying the game! I do have two observations, one of which has been mentioned a couple times already in the forums.

1. I agree the Blue-Force interceptors hold a significant advantage over the Soviets. The Soviets are limited to one interceptor per bomber, but the NATO interceptors, especially the U.S., can completely gang up with overwhelming odds against the Soviet bombers. It's been very rare for Soviet bombers to make it through the wall of pack-hunting interceptors while I have many Blue bombers make it past the Soviet interceptors.

2. Speaking of bombers, why is it that after a successful attack, the U.S./U.K. can recycle those bombers, but the Soviets can't? That's the other thing I've found is that after the Soviets have exhausted their bombers, most of the time the nuke points haven't added up to 50 yet (again, there's that overwhelming advantage of the U.S. interceptors). Because the U.S./U.K. bombers can recycle through (assuming their city attacks were successful) and continue to bomb the USSR until sufficient nuke points have been accumulated. The Soviets don't get any more opportunities even if their bombers had been successful so all they can do is sit back and watch their single interceptors attempt to take down the bombers.
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R. Brent Ward
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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to post any variant rules you feel would provide balance in these areas.

Regards,
Brent

 
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Barry Kendall
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One reason the Soviets are at a disadvantage in recycling is that they did not have an effective aerial-refueling capability at this time. Some Soviet bomber types were also limited in range to begin with compared with US types.

Another reason is that the USSR was virtually surrounded by Western-friendly nations and US bases which did not always have repair/maintenance capabilities, but which did have stocks of aviation fuel. By contrast, the Soviets, with the exception of Cuba, did not have friendly airbases at the "far end" of a USSR-to-USA flight, and their bombers lacked fuel capacity to U-turn and fly back to their base of origin.

Therefore, while US bombers could fly "one-way" missions to deliver payloads, then on to a friendly base to land and refuel, Soviet bombers could not.

There are abstractions in the game; US B-47s required refueling before reaching most assigned targets when launching from bases in the continental US. The US B-58 had great speed but gulped fuel prodigiously, and required refueling both ways. This was a major reason for its early retirement in the 1960s.

Edit: Though it would take some research and manufacturing some counters, a clever rule from TSR's "The Hunt for Red October" game could be grafted onto "Red Menace." In "THFRO," the US Player has KC-135 tanker aircraft counters. These can be moved to a point on the board, which then functions as the "point of origin" for combat aircraft carrying out air missions. In other words, a bomber, for instance, can be considered to begin its flight from the space where the air tanker has been positioned.

Counters representing such could be added to "Red Menace." As I said, some research would be required, looking at SAC's aerial-tanker OB for the period and where those squadrons were based.
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David A
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I hear what you're saying, but you provided a spoiler to your own points when it comes to the B-47s and B-58s. Also, regardless of what reality/history say, this game doesn't have foreign bases available for U.S. and U.K. regeneration. All just regenerate from set bases either in the U.S. or the U.K. (if the Vulcans survive to regenerate) and they don't even have to make it back safely. They just disappear after a successful attack and are available for regeneration again (teleportation is real!)

As for aerial refueling, those too are represented in the game, but they don't exist from the outset (they're events) and they don't have anything to do with bomber regeneration. From the rules:

Quote:
9.4 Capabilities of Aerial Refueling
When Aerial Refueling aircraft are in play, they enhance both US and Soviet sides in different ways.
9.4.1 US Aerial Refueling
For the US player, bombers may add 1 to their movement value.
9.4.2 Soviet Aerial Refueling
For the Soviet side, this capability allows Interceptors one extra attack roll (extra 1d6) on the first bomber they attack per turn.

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Craig Truesdell
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OK so I read that right, after a successful attack the US bombers are placed in a city the next turn ready to launch, they don't have to fly back.

I may variant that and insist they fly back to the airbase.
 
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R. Brent Ward
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ctcharger wrote:
OK so I read that right, after a successful attack the US bombers are placed in a city the next turn ready to launch, they don't have to fly back.

I may variant that and insist they fly back to the airbase.

Craig,

Most threads discussing rules prior to release of 2nd edition (November 15th, 2018), are likely about 1st edition. In most cases, the 2nd edition rules are completely different. In this case, rebasing US/UK aircraft to a specific city is similar but it was only added in the Strategic Deployment and Scramble Rules later and not standard.

As an alternative to your variant, you could deploy the US/UK aircraft back to the Strategic Bomber Deployment table in a city, but place the counter facing-down and rotate once per turn (end or beginning, up to you) until upright. This will give the bombers a couple of turns before they are available without increasing the game length too long (e.g. flying back to the city).

Regards,
Brent
 
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Craig Truesdell
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Ok thanks. Since they have no bombs left and most of the fuel is gone, they can fly back quicker.
 
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