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Strategic Bombing Proof of Concept


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Had a fantastic time on Combat Box this afternoon with their new "Mitchell" map... the AI flights of B-25s at 20,000ft drew huge contrailed dogfights up high in a frenzy around the bombers. Tracers and falling planes everywhere - absolute chaos!

 

There were even a few A-20 pilots that joined the box formations of AI planes. Performance seemed to hold up well, too.

It was great fun being a "Little Friend" for the first time. So, kudos to Combat Box!

 

 

3sn8kn.gif

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1 minute ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

Had the same experience last night! Absolutely useless performance from me but I did have fun weaving my Spitfire in between the Mitchell's, the Mustang's, and the relentless Fw190 and Bf109 attacks. All at 20,000 feet plus. Very cool mission!

Seeing the hitting power of the 20s and 30s en masse against a formation is terrifying from a bomber perspective.

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6 hours ago, kurtj said:

Had a fantastic time on Combat Box this afternoon with their new "Mitchell" map... the AI flights of B-25s at 20,000ft drew huge contrailed dogfights up high in a frenzy around the bombers. Tracers and falling planes everywhere - absolute chaos!

 

There were even a few A-20 pilots that joined the box formations of AI planes. Performance seemed to hold up well, too.

It was great fun being a "Little Friend" for the first time. So, kudos to Combat Box!

 

 

3sn8kn.gif

That looks awesome, finally some scenes giving feel of true ww2 engagements.

I hope devs will improve engine performance and netcode so we can have more planes and bigger formations in scenery rather than usual ground strafing and small dogfights.

 

Also this is where flyable b25/26 and other medium bombers are missing in this game, game scope is quite narrow and limited to dogfights and small engagements.

I love this game but it is far from "Great Battles" feel, hopefully they'll stop overdose us with collector fighters and give us proper bombers (and torpedo bombers for BoN)!

 

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15 hours ago, Feathered_IV said:

Just had a chance to give it a try.  It was really good.

Only a handful of B-25s, but as a proof of concept it definitely makes a case for a simplified "online AI" that can function in numbers.

 

 

Yesterday I found I couldn't fly Allied (faction balancing?), so I tried the interceptor role. Scariest 30 seconds in IL-2 for me so far. Tried a head-on pass; incredible closing rate, and then the 51s were all over me like angry hornets.

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2 hours ago, Feathered_IV said:

How does it work with the Luftwaffe team?  On the Allied side you get updates on the course and eta of the bombers.  Whereas when I flew a 109 I didn't see any specific reports on the bombers.

 

Not sure how it is done, but spotters can be used to help the defending team.  Need map icons enabled for that to work though.  

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I flew Dora yesterday when you entered

On 3/29/2020 at 1:34 AM, Feathered_IV said:

Just had a chance to give it a try.  It was really good.

Only a handful of B-25s, but as a proof of concept it definitely makes a case for a simplified "online AI" that can function in numbers.

 

 

Did not find any bombers so I went for some ground targets  to see if I could hurt some guarding fighters. I found the fighters , blacked out and lawndarted

Edited by 216th_LuseKofte
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This is exactly how I imagine Heavies being implemented.
Not only would it help break up missions in SP when you would need to escort a group to Frankfurt or something.

But the same goes in MP as they could be a critical objective that could deplete the axis of many tickets. This would give players a reason to fly at the altitudes some of these aircraft were designed to be operating at. 

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8 hours ago, Feathered_IV said:

How does it work with the Luftwaffe team?  On the Allied side you get updates on the course and eta of the bombers.  Whereas when I flew a 109 I didn't see any specific reports on the bombers.

 

I built the mission based on a concept from @Jakerthesnak, I'm happy to try to answer questions. In terms of information about the bombers:

  • There are 3 waves of bombers, and they start in a random order each time, once enough players are flying. Flight Alpha always goes north to Deelen, Flight Bravo to (I think) northeast to Bochum, and Charlie east to Borken. We originally had 12 bombers (3 x 4) in each flight but that plus 84 players was too much for the server. We reduced to 8 bombers (2 x 4) now. It's still not 100% stable and sometimes the server 'hangs' on the final wave of bombers. But players really like the mission, so it's worth the instability (I'd say).
  • The Allies get a "bomber command" message 5 minutes before the bombers spawn, stating roughly where they will start and what target they will hit. Allies then get a message at bomber spawn and a message every 3-5 minutes as the bombers make their way to target.
  • The Germans get a "bombers on radar" message when the bombers are approximately 10 minutes from target, then a "spotted" message as they cross the front line and another one closer to target. If you're on the German team you probably don't have time to climb and reposition, so if you want to strike the bombers you need to get to altitude and then watch for where they are going.
  • You can also see the bomber contrails from 50+km away on the map, if you're looking closely. This is often the best way to pick them up.
  • The bombers spawn at altitude, but they do try to land properly after bombing their objective. The flights split and go to different airfields for faster landings.

We try not to do too much with the "map radar" stuff as it's too gamey, so we use a text message supposedly from your friendly radar or from a ground spotter. This tells players where the action is but you need to pay attention. Or just get on Axis Discord where there can be upwards of a dozen players in voice comms (awful for trying to coordinate, since everyone talks over each other, but I use it as an SA-aid and mute it when I get into a fight...).

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2 hours ago, Alonzo said:

 

I built the mission based on a concept from @Jakerthesnak, I'm happy to try to answer questions.

Many thanks again! 

Several ideas for future missions (In case they aren't already in the works :) 

  • Night (twilight, if need be) RAF AI bomber stream triggered by player Mosquito pathfinder flare drops; searchlights to draw in pilots? Plus-side: bomber stream would be less resource-intensive.
  • AI C-47 Market Garden and D-Day drops
  • German AI bombing on Moscow / Stalingrad maps
  • High-altitude MET and PR flights (with waypoints, perhaps?)
  • 262 reposition operation which requires players to ferry X number of 262s from one airfield to another across map with limited fuel. Make primary victory condition (success/failure of transfer) for the map... build flak alley for covering 262 landings and have a bunch of 190 D9s for escort.
5 hours ago, -RR-Napoleon- said:

This would give players a reason to fly at the altitudes some of these aircraft were designed to be operating at. 

I think this is one of the best results of this mission --- late-war fighters take little time to climb to 20,000 ft and were designed to operate at that level or much higher. It has now been proven that most players will make the (easy) climb, if that's where the action is. Plus, it even engages the 10-20% of players who've been contrailing above us alone all these years ;)

36 minutes ago, sevenless said:

I think it will be years until we see that in GB series or a successor. Until then nothing can beat the feeling of good old IL-1946 in this regard.

Having done both, I agree the 1946 bomber numbers aren't matched, but my adrenal glands don't seem to notice the difference once bandits (or bombers) are spotted.

9 hours ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

I fkew Dira yesterday when you entered

Dud not find any bombers so I went for some ground targets  to see if I could hurt some guarding fighters. I found the fighters , blacked out and lawndarted

Blackout lawn-darting is one of my preferred methods of landing, according to the statistics. Blackout effects are better late than never, but I built up a few bad high-G habits over the years that just aren't as useful today.

On 3/14/2020 at 11:09 PM, pfrances said:

Bloody hell. I need to try this!! Laying hardwood all weekend :(

I did that once, manually... five full days for 200 sq ft. Hard work!

Edited by kurtj
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