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Jabos. need anti-aircraft tactics.


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I got bounced with a swarm of LaGG fight/Attack planes in a Aug/44 Op I was playing called "Back to the Fatherland" It's a Static with a Mixed Kampfgruppe of German Heer and Luftwaffe Infantry with Arty support and few Armour, mainly StuG and a lone Tiger deal with a Rush from a Mech Soviet Infantry Battalion.

Normally it would be had for the germans, but it's unlevel ground which makes advace slow for the russians...so my opponent found out something else.

He could get a few planes in my rear area and the would rip apart my trucks, light vehicles and take out whole squads of me.

One Strike with all 3 of the LaGGs coming in took me down to 67%, at the time I didn't have any Flak units and was cursing the screen as i watched and heard the chaos.

So I went back on a second attempt vs the computer later to test AA units, fixed guns, mobile guns, FlakPanzers, and found the only gun working at the time was the 3.7cm FlaK 36. The Wirbelwinds got knocked out in a airstrike and 2cm Flakvierlings get their guns damaged, and their huge targets(Where they really that big vs a 2cm Flak 38 or 3.7cm Flak?

Also with 8.8cm FlaK 36 fire at aircraft?

wouldn't think so since their ROF would be nothing for the fast strike aircraft.

Also watching my Tiger falling into a crater of a Airstike and then on the next turn get bombed again, and having the crew bail...that is dishearting to me.

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the 88mm flak wont fire at air targets in CM. Its AA use was protecting strategic targets against slower, high flying bombers rather than the fast and low fighter/dive bombers seen in CM.

377mm flak is your best bet I think as it is useful agasint ground targets too. quad 20mm mounts are OK and sometimes you can get 20mm flak for very low rarity. I would go for 37mm given the choice.

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Panzer_M,

I'll be happy to assist you if I can, but first there's an important administrative matter to which we must attend. In order to preserve fog of war (FOW), it is customary to warn the unwary that scenario/op specifics are about to be discussed in a post. This is done by writing the phrase "spoiler!!!" in all caps/all caps bold, putting in a string of asterisks or similar on a string of successive lines, then posting the sensitive info. Looks like this"

SPOILER!!!

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Begin post.

That disposed of, let's see what light I can shed on your problem. A witty solution would of the order of "Don't be where the bullets/cannon shells/rockets/bombs hit." I believe more substantive measures are needed, though.

First Insight

Trucks and other light softskins are airplane magnets. Get them into the best cover you can find to reduce the likelihood they'll be spotted and targeted. If possible, put them in Hide. Make sure to keep them spread out as much as possible consistent with the mission. That way you are less likely to lose multiple units in a single attack. This means your opponent will a) have to work harder and B) will be more likely to use up his ammo, meaning the planes will leave, having done far less damage than would otherwise have been the case. If there's no cover to be had, go to Fast Move and zigzag. AFVs with roof mounted MGs will only to be able to fight if unbuttoned.

Second Insight

Passengers on vehicles should dismount immediately when under air attack and move away from their transport vehicles. If a vehicle gets creamed, at least you won't automatically lose the unit or units being carried as well.

Third Insight

Be grateful you didn't get hit by something worse--like Il-2 Sturmoviks. Light flak, even MGs if you get lucky, can down a LaGG. The Sturmovik's essentially immune to everything through 20mm. Indeed Stuka superpilot Hans Rudel reports watching ordinary 20mm fire bounce right off the belly of an Il-2 attacking his airfield. LaGGs have only MGs, whereas Il-2s sport full blown cannon. Big difference! Also, a LaGG won't carry a 1000 kg bomb; an Il-2 can. Also, I believe only Il-2s carry the PTAB shaped charge antitank bomblets.

Fourth Insight

When defending against air attack, volume of fire counts! All those tracers whipping past the canopy tend to disturb and distract the pilot--even if no hits result. For your purposes, aborting the attack via pilot disturbance is almost as good as shooting down the plane, especially if you can do this before the first ordnance is delivered. This is best achieved by positioning your air defenses some distance from what you're defending and layering them in depth and with mutual support. Make sure that your Flak guns are well dispersed, too!

The Flakvierling, in its various mounts, is the premier producer of volumes of antiaircraft fire, and the best protected configuration is the relatively rare Wirbelwind. The weapon itself is not very big, but for some unknown reason, the graphic is. Fortunately, even if the graphic's off, the model inside the computer isn't. 2 cm Flak 38s, also available in a range of configurations, help in building the critical fire volume. Multiple MG mounts are also good. The 3.7 cm Flak 36, again in a range of mounts, of which the best protected is the Ostwind, sibling of the Wirbelwind, has longer range, hence can help in aborting a strike before it can deliver ordnance. Though it has the range advantage, compared to 2 cm Flak 38 in general and the 2 cm Flakvierling in particular, the 3.7 cm Flak 36 is simply not competitive when it comes to rate of fire. It hits hard, though. Even an Il-2 has to worry about it.

Fifth Insight

If you want your Flak crews to stick to their guns,

make sure they're a) in command and B) that the HQ has the lightning bolt (Combat) and heart (Morale) icons visible (+1 bonus), ideally framed (+2 bonus). This will make your crews both more effective and steadier under fire. If defending and permitted to do so, dig in your guns and Hide them until needed. Consider setting Cover Arcs to avoid premature position disclosure.

Sixth Insight

The 8.8 cm Flak 36 will NOT fire at aircraft. This is as true in CMBB as it was in real life. The reason? The only aircraft modeled in CMBB are operating at low altitude. This is the realm of light flak equipped with fast traversing mounts and quick reaction gunsights. The 88, when used as an antiaircraft weapon, is designed to deal with high altitude targets, targets which do not generate the high angular tracking rates typical of CMBB air attacks. Further, when used against bombers at high altitude, the 88 is used in batteries or even larger formations, with range centrally determined by optical and/or radar means, fuzes set to the correct time, and fire by barrage, in order to create a wall of explosions and shell fragments in the sky through which the relatively sluggish bombers must travel. Simply put, the 88 can't possibly traverse fast enough to engage low flyers, hence doesn't even try.

Seventh Insight

Bombs are much more dangerous than rockets to your tanks. Rockets pretty much have to hit in order to kill, whereas bombs, especially 250kg and up, can kill via immobilization to tens of meters, temporarily shock crews via concussion, kill exposed vehicle commanders, etc. If they land closer, all bets are off. In real life, bombs of this size buried AFVs, flipped Tiger Is over on their backs, and obliterated tanks hit directly. I'm sorry you lost your Tiger, but at least the crew survived. Suppose it had taken a direct hit!

What such bombs can do to light armor, softskins and infantry I'll leave to your imagination. Unless you enjoy mass casualties and whole formations routed, though, may I recommend dispersion and effective use of protective terrain? The best thing to have between your forces and a bomb is a hill, since it blocks both blast and fragments.

I've probably missed a few things, but the above suggestions should both clarify matters for you and give you some solid tips on how to effectively employ whatever air defense assets you may have.

Regards,

John Kettler

[ May 28, 2004, 05:48 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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88 is for level bombers - and only if they are set up accordingly with equipment. Changing them from AT to AA takes time and is not in the game as there are no level bombers in it, too.

SPAA are priority targets for planes - after all they are bigger than AA guns. If two targets are as dangerous, target the one that is easier to kill.

OTOH it is great to have priority targets.... they can act as traps.

Several ACs (222, 251/9?) with the 20L55 gun are AA-capable. Not as good as a dedicated AA as they have worse optics, but optics do not count for accuracy in CM. In a test with several AA systems, those ACs did well and can withstand small arms fire while the cheap SPAA are unarmored and can not support forward positions.

Gun types

3,7 is able to penetrate Shturmoviks, 2cm has problems doing so.

IIRC Quad has higher accuracy, but problems with Shturmoviks. Scaring them away might be enough and the quad can achieve this.

2cm is cheap. Shturmoviks are a problem to kill but can be scared away -cf Quad.

With rarity on, you can usually buy almost 3 of them for the price of one Quad. I'd guestimate that 2.5 2cm AAs close together are as capable as one quad, but if dispersed they offer more targets and can better protect areas. Thus 2.5 2cm are worth more than 1 quad.

The criteria to look for are price, bang (gun capability), protection vs incoming (armor) and the bait factor (do the flyboys target them first?).

Weapon types

Towed AA:

A mix of 2cm and 3,7cm. Quad only if it cost less than 250% of a 2cm. Great on the defense or to protect rear areas in the attack. If you have several of them and it is a long battle: A HT makes them mobile, thus allowing to protect your advance.

SPAA - unarmored:

Ideal baits. Position amid several towed AAs. Keep them 100m away from tanks to avoid collateral damage (to the tanks from airstrikes on the SPAA, to the fragile SPAA when the tanks receive incoming). Can support the advance, but have to remain out of sight of the enemy as MGs can kill them. As they are baits for the flyboys they are not ideal to protect the advance.

Usually the surcharge for quad is less than with the towed guns - so quad is affordable. Sometimes a Quad SPAA is cheaper than the towed quad...

IIRC their hit prob is slightly better than with towed guns. That might increase their bang.

Better keep them away from the frontlines.

AA tanks:

Use as SPAA, but they can withstand some punishment. A properly used SPAA might actually be worth the same for less points.

An MG can't kill them, but you don't want a bait to close to your tanks, do you?

SPAA based on HTs - light armor

Between unarmored SPAA and AA tanks. Can withstand MG fire if it ain't .50cal, but still preferred targets for the flyboys.

AA capable ACs:

Ideal for forward areas. Especially when ATRs are less common. Conserve the ammo for AA purposes if flyboys are around!

Cheaper if bought as full plt.

What to buy:

Depending on terrain, mission and troop type - start with some cheapo 2cm AAs, add some AA-capable AC, then a 3,7, a lightly armored or unarmored SPAA (depends on the price).

If you have no vehicles - use towed guns only and hope for friendly fire (which is really friendly here).

If you defend - towed AA guns might be enough.

If you defend with armor - add SPAA as bait. Maybe some ACs if you can spare the points.

If you attack a short way with armor - towed guns might do the trick, add SPAA as bait, ACs if you need some for others purposes, too.

If you attack a long way - towed AA that leapfrog with the help of HTs (you'll need some for toher heavy wpns anyway), some SPAA as bait, some ACs to protect the spearheads.

I would recommend not to use AA tanks as they offer to little bang for the buck.

Gruß

Joachim

[ May 28, 2004, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Joachim ]

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Panzer_M Welcome Sir smile.gif

Your first concern regarding the effects of CAS is all too real when the targets attacked are light and unarmoured vehicles with vehicle born squads. This is what does happen when a force that has NO AA assets gets attacked by CAS. Did you have your forces dispersed at the time..or where they in a group???

As to the question of guns not firing i have tested the 20mm Flak 38 , the Quad Flak 38 , the 37mm Flak and the Wirbelwind and all these guns fired , engaged and shot down enemy aircraft. This test involved 4 LGGs and 4 each of the AA guns on the map at the same time.. ie 16 AA assets.

What you may like to bear in mind in the future is the actual facing of the AA guns and their placement on the map.

The SPAA guns ( Wirbelwinds) are controlled by the AI as AFVs....this means once a target disappears and is no longer a threat the turret will go back to the 12 o'clock position.

With static guns and SPAA it is important that if u have MORE than one that you face them in different directions N/NE/E/SE/S/SW/W/NW/N ( if you can and are lucky to have that amount of AA.

The reason for these facings is that the enemy CAS is likey to attack from any or all map sides. So ..if you have all your assets facing N .. and the enemy CAS attacks from the S you will lose time with the AA assest having to rotate and elevate and aquire the targets..meanwhile it ( the aircraft ) has lined up on its target and likely launched its attack and possibly zoomed away off the map.

This can lead to a lot of frustration leading some to think that AA guns are not working.

Not so. If you have at least one AA facing the direction of the enemy aircraft you will buy your side a wee bit of time as it can engage the aircraft that much quicker.. and hopefully put it off its aim..if not shooting it down.

More guns = more of a chance for success and having them face off in different directions helps.

As to the "huge" Quad Flak..that is a 3d model scale issue that BFC are aware of and its likely not on the ist to fix

Hope this helps you somewhat.

Regards

Måkjager

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Yep, now most topics are covered.

The only problem is that Panzer_M has to figure out our different views on some matters.

But that means he has to think about the answers and why we like what. Thus he will derive his solution based on his preferences

Gruß

Joachim

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Well, all questions got answered, so I'll just give my own opinion.

Towed 20mm quad flaks are probably the most cost-effective AA guns Germans have in late war. I don't remember how high the usual rarity factor for 37mm flaks are, but they are obviously better.

It's always wise to pick along a couple quad AA's if the weather allows air support for your opponent. Even if he decides to the take no kites, you can use the 20mm quads to chew up infantry and light enemy vehicles. A tracked towing vehicle is a good investment, since ideal vantage points are rarely next to a road.

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Originally posted by John Kettler:

Panzer_M,

I'll be happy to assist you if I can, but first there's an important administrative matter to which we must attend. In order to preserve fog of war (FOW), it is customary to warn the unwary that scenario/op specifics are about to be discussed in a post. This is done by writing the phrase "spoiler!!!" in all caps/all caps bold, putting in a string of asterisks or similar on a string of successive lines, then posting the sensitive info. Looks like this"

John Kettler

My bad, I forgot to meantion this is a Operation I am designing. Not meanign to spoil anything. A few other things need to be worked out, but I am trying to get a 20 battle, Large Operation done.

The Modding bug hit me quick, esp after years of doing mini-mods with CloseCombat.

I discovered the Aircraft "Problem" playtesting the current opening TO&E to see if it was overall mismatched or not. Normally I made it German quality could try to match Soviet quantity with thought put into the Late War Situation.

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As to the 8.8cm I didn't think it would be AA, but I didn't know. As it was first time I had a 88 out when i had aircraft. The lone 88Flak I had was part of my 88 Screen covering avenue of advance. This is my first CM game, and I am still learn with how close it is to reality, I am still a closeCombat vet first.

I know alot more about WWII then you guys give me credit for. Actually just finished with the books, Assault guns to the front and Kharkov by Jean Restayn

Redid the TO&E with the rarity off.

took out the Wirbelwinds and Sdkfz.251/17

2: 2cm Flak 38(LW)

2: 3.7cm Flak 36(WH)

2: 2cm 2cm Flakvierling 41(LW)

1: Sdkfz 6/2(LW)

just for giggles, I gave most of the guns to the Luftwaffe Kampfgruppe and the 3.7s to the Army. No real point to that, just figured it would be interesting.

attacked by 2: Pe-2 and 4 LaGG FBs

Loses were still there, due to the Pe-2s more than the LaGG, and most of my loses were to support troops(Trucks, PMs) I had grouped up behind the lines, since i tend to bunch them up til I need them.

[ May 28, 2004, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Panzer_M ]

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Panzer_M,

A 20 battle op? What a slacker!

When you figure out your actual TO&E, even though the op's your own creation, you may want to be judicious in discussing it, to preserve FOW. Most gamers like to see events unfold as they play. If I'm playing the Russians, it can be very handy knowing ahead of time what antiaircraft assets I'm likely to encounter, not to mention the threat they pose to ground units unfortunate enough to encounter them. Likewise, if I'm the Germans, it's nice to know the likely air threat ahead of time. The problems which can arise if one side has this kind of intel and the other doesn't are obvious.

That Pe-2s drove your losses doesn't surprise me, given their much bigger bomb loads than the LaGGs.

Bill Gunston's AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR II lists the maximum bombload for any LaGG as 2 x 100 kg. The best Pe-2 has 4 x 500 kg. on hardpoint capacity alone (reduced internal carriage with full external load), with 2000 kg. available internally. Total max possible bombload = 3000 kg. Moral of story? Stay out of the way of Pe-2s!

Regards,

John Kettler

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This op is kinda turning into my let's see how much hell I can do a game. My First romp with the engine for myself to play with. After this I'll start writing and making some serious operations. I seem to like Ops more than Battles, and I wish CM had a campaign mode.

Need to get some Real maps to make my maps with, since i am getting bored with "generic" maps which lack something I feel.

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