Heavy bomber strategy?

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    • Heavy bomber strategy?

      What it good at, What it bad at. the only time I ever use it is the one it give to thailand at the begining of round. I can one shot infanty but that is like when the game first open.
      and I never use it since

      so here im asking for some discussion aboit it from someone who might be using it or saw other using it.

      Im personaly think it cost too much. you need to have level 4 airbase which at that point is not early game any more.
      so it would expect to get shoot down a lot if I try to use it. any idea? :thumbsup:
    • To begin with, i'll simply say that i don't consider the heavy bomber to be a good unit until a solid day 20, for air-focused countries that began to consider a missile program (CM). It is very contextual. But gloriously efficient in the case the context happens (and interestingly, it's more often than one may think in late game).

      My underlying idea is always "Think units by role".

      So, with what the bomber competes with in early ?

      Gunships, Attack Choppers, Strike Fighters.


      Role : Aerial Soft-Damage Dealer.

      Context : We are Day 1 and need to make a choice.

      Attack Chopper :
      - Low Range make it less flexible (-)
      - It's awful against soft (--)
      - If you're not western doctrine, it asks a lvl 2 airbase, which slows down when you can launch them, and also give a hint to the opponent (-)
      - It's more bulky (+)
      - In the case we had the economical power to mix it with Gunship, it makes for a potent combo. Attack Chopper wins against lone mobile anti-air, in early. (+)
      - Speed really isn't their thing. It will reduce the output (less bombing runs) (-)
      - Can be used for intelligence gathering as it uncovers troops. (+)

      Summarised : -----+++ = --- : "Of course, you shouldn't choose Attack Chopper to play the role of the air unit that kill infantries."

      Gunship :
      - Low Range make it less flexible (-)
      - It has the best output against soft (++)
      - Eastern Doctrine is even better (+)
      - It's an unit that costs supply + elec. It goes well with other "components heavy" units, like navy or mobile artillery. (+)
      - It's awful against armored and there will be some CRVs (-)
      - Speed really isn't their thing. It will reduce the output (less bombing runs) (-)
      - You already have the infrastructure when you start (airbase level 1) (+)
      - Can be used for intelligence gathering as it uncovers troops (+)

      Summarised : ---++++++ = +++ : "Gunship is a great choice to kill infantries as an air unit."

      Strike Fighter :
      - Correct range and speed make it flexible. Not able to escape ASF, but flexible (+)
      - It has a balanced output between soft and armored, but needs to have numbers. (+)
      - If you're not european doctrine, you'll need to wait for a day to research it, and you need an airbase lvl 2 (-)
      - Strike Fighter tech line is a good example of an unit that has a great improvement curve, as well as added benefits in the long run (+)

      Summarised : -+++ = ++ : "Strike Fighter is a very reasonable choice to kill infantries as an air unit, due to flexibility and tech curve"


      Heavy Bomber :
      - Good Range, and correct speed while less than SF anyway (+)
      - Good Output against soft, and "not awful for early" against armored (++)
      - My God, Airport lvl 4, do you think i have time travel tech ? (--)
      - Tech is more expensive than competition, unit cost is more expensive than competition (--)

      Summarised : ----+++ / - : "Heavy Bomber, despite it's apparent ability to kill infantries, is a poor choice for this role"

      Definitive choice would be between Gunship and Strike Fighter, and the decision would probably be tied to "other parameters" like "am I european doctrine (SF +) or eastern doctrine (Gunship +) ?", "Is my opponent spectacularly rushing SAMs ?" , etc.

      I suppose, MrBookShelf, that you have reviewed this unit a bit like that so far, and came to the (logical) conclusion they were not good to that. And it's true. It's mainly because in early, there is virtually 0 context where you will be fighting (for real) countries that are very far from you. You will attack (or be attacked by) your immediate neighbours, and for "this" kind of Range, Strike Fighter does perfectly what you want : Hit'em with the stick.

      1 500 range vs 750 in early is nothing impressive. HOWEVER.

      Let's take a look at the tech curve on that side.

      T1 : 1 500 range vs 750 range
      T2 : 3 500 range vs 750 range
      T3 : 5 000 range vs 900 range.

      3 500 is a lot. Two times the distance a max tech Ballistic missile can cover.
      5 000 is huge. more than 5 times what other planes (especially the ones that are supposed to hunt you) can reach.

      3 500 range is virtually be able to go, from any given point, to nearly half the planet.
      5 000 range is virtually be able to go to the 3/4 of the planet from any given point.

      You may think that ultimately, it's not really a problem, because well, missiles can go far too, and it's true, but they are missiles and go in straight line (not to mention that the opponent sees BM/ICBM immediatly once they are launched. It may be visible for several hours in case of long range).

      Heavy Bomber is a plane, which means that every single pixel in this circle of 5 000 px radius ( ~78 000 000 pixels) allows you to fly as you wish, and move within with total control over pathes. You can take off From Paris, fly to Greenland, fly to Washington, then go to Brasilia, then go through the atlantic toward South Africa, then go North and Attack Mali from freaking South East, after avoiding for days all navies and ground-air assets.

      I can tell you out of experience : Even for a trained and perceptive player, this is the kind of move that is of the utmost difficulty to anticipate (at best, you know he has long range Heavy bombers, and you live in paranoïa) . If i wage war, i have fronts. I always keep troops to defend, and anti-air abilities of course, but i can't really be "everywhere" without putting myself in a "turtle" position that can't go well with "expanding and attacking".

      Now, you may be thinking : "Yes, it's disruptive, but hey... once they attacked, they flight back to airport, and goodbye. They don't have that much damage so it's really high efforts for low rewards". It's true again.

      We need to consider their last ability that makes them such a specialised and "terror weapon" for mid-late and late game : Missile hardpoints.

      In T2 they have 2, in T3 they have 3. Which means that an T3 Heavy Bomber stack can deliver anywhere within the 78 000 000 pixels of its range area 15 Cruise missiles at once. I have an operational recent example to explain what i mean.

      Nota Bene : This happened on the Interalliance Melting Post, a private public game where players of many alliances are fighting each other. The level is not "challenge", but it's better than Public games : people know what stealth is, they know what radar is, they know what anti-air is... and they know what artillery is :D.

      We were at the beginning of the "Last War" between my coalition of 5 and the other surviving coalitions, that spanned the rest of the Planet (to summarise it, we are Europe + Africa, they are Asia + Oceania + America).

      Australia had prepared an ICBM program that was really threatening us. We had invested a LOT of resources into a TDS program, but due to splash damage, defending against ICBM is always a tricky matter. Due to Australia being relatively minor in their economical output (25 cities), we concluded that he wouldn't be able to produce continuously the nuclear warheads. It was a reasonable decision to try to put him out of combat by outright destroying his weapon lab lvl 5.

      We were behind in terms of nuclear technology (due to an investment on CM, we didn't invested in ICBMs), but we had invested slowly into an heavy bomber program (anticipating that we would soon be pitted against the whole planet)

      The weapons lab was in Alice Springs, which is also the only rare material core australia had.



      Ok, the screen isn't that great because it doesn't show the full flight, but globally, Heavy bombers took off from India, where the biggest density of troops (two sides) were. We tried as much as possible to pass through the "water triangles" outside of range , hid a bit in the borders of the maps, then came back from the Arctic South (where of course, it's hard to think "hey, please put a line of frigates here to defend"), put ourselves in the extreme limits of Sea before the beach in order to not be seen... and then, right into Alice Springs, where we delivered on it several tactical nukes ( 3 Nuke CMs, and 3 Conventional CM if i remember well), basically putting "out of commision" the Warhead producting facility.

      We were lucky to only find one SAM to defend the city, and it was wiped.

      Once the warheads are launched, fly back into the void, in the endless ocean, hide where his ASFs can't catch you, where his navies will struggle to find you if they hunt you... and wait for the missiles hardpoints to be reloaded.

      This is... where the heavy bomber shines, and the context of such use often makes the whole line worth it. However, as you can see, it asks :

      1°) Commitment to CM tech line.
      2°) Global Warfare
      3°) Intel (Spies)

      For that price, you have the absolute terror-unit that will make your opponent consider if he should keep SAM/ASF/TDS at Home, and not on the front, and ask himself "from where will the attack come, this time".

      PART 2 AFTER.
      Running an online alliance is pretty much like running a small company, except you need to find other way than money to keep your employees productive. May they play or work, they are humans.
    • PART 2 :

      I'll make an last remark, but when it comes to such an specialised unit, it deserves it : If you want to use the Heavy Bomber that way, The Stealth Bomber deserves special attention


      It of course adds Stealth. But once researched and procuDed, you will have a stack of 5 by day 20.
      But we are talking of a long range unit ( 5 000. Vs 3 500 regular T2 heavy bomber) that will most of the time be at large in the endless sea, hiding in hard to access spots.
      The only units that can reach it and see it (Frigates and Awacs) will not get their anti-stealth upgrade before day 25. This is five days of "you are a wolf amongst sheeps" technological edge.
      Of course, Stealth Bomber at this point of the game implies a huge commitment that may not be worth it : up to you to analyse it. However, not all players rush IMMEDIATLY anti-stealth, so, depending on what you have in front of you, it may still be worth it later in the map. But of course, don't underestimate opponent.
      What is the role of the Heavy Bomber ? I define it as an "Global Missile Platform". And i consider that he has two competitors : The Missile Submarine (and Ballistic Missiles) and the ICBM launcher (and ICBMs)
      Global Missile Platform Role :

      Missile Submarine + BM :
      - Can be hidden in the middle of a Cruiser program (+)
      - Relatively Cheap Tech program, and the quickest to "activate" (++)
      - Electronic + Rare material cost may be a bit overwhelming in mid (-)
      - Unit will be gradually easier to hunt with the tech curve (-)
      - Conventional Ballistic missiles are cost efficient for their destructive power (+)
      - Tech curve of the Missile Submarine is always less efficient than "building new subs" for equivalent results (-)

      Summarised : ++++--- / + : "Missile Submarine is the quickest and cheapest way to threaten remote ennemies. However, it's also the easier to counter option."


      ICBM launcher + ICBM :
      - Can't be hidden (-)
      - Usually predictable trajectories (from your Homeland to his Homeland) (-)
      - Extreme Long Range from the safety of your homeland (+)
      - Destructive Power is unmatched and terrifying (splash damage) (++)
      - When it comes to intercept an ICBM, either you are VERY LUCKY, or you have SPECIFICALLY prepared in the targeted city/province TDS to kill it. The speed of the ICBM ensures he will go through most of "random bubbles" on its way. (++)
      - There are many ways to cheese the game and point defense. No anti-missile defense ultimately works if you have intel (+)
      - The More expensive tech program of the whole game. It will unavoidably deplete your conventional weapons program, and transform you (at least in the mind of your allies) in an missile launcher, and you will probably be useless in other areas. (--)
      - Even when you don't launch it, the opponent will invest in defense or his own program to catch up with you. It's not uncommon to see the opponent spend WAY MORE than you on defense missile programs, than you have in missile program. ICBM makes this effect even more spectacular (+)

      Summarised : +++++++---- : +++ : "ICBM is the "brute force" way of delivering an highly destructive force on a remote opponent. It asks so much commitment on the tech line that it will make you weaker in all the other areas. Not a problem with good allies, though"


      Heavy Bomber + CM :
      - Can be hidden in the middle of a AWACS program (+)
      - Extreme Long Range with total mobility and control (++)
      - Conventional CMs are not cost efficient for their destructive power, and if you go nuke, you can't hid the project (-)
      - May avoid through cunning most of opponent defensive assets (+)
      - If you used their mobility poorly, they are the easiest unit for this role to shoot down. (-)

      Summarised : ++++-- : ++ : "Heavy bomber is a good choice to deliver missiles on remote opponents. The operational flexibility + the use of CM (that may be used with other units) make it a very disruptive (and often not considered by the opponent) choice of "wild card".


      Stealth Heavy Bomber + CM, used between day 20 and day 25 :
      - Can be hidden in the middle of an AWACS program (+)
      - Extreme Long Range with Total mobility and control (++)
      - Conventional CMs are not cost efficient for their destructive power, and if you go nuke, you can't hid the project (-)
      - WILL go through all opponent defensive assets (++)
      - Tech + Rare material cost makes it an expensive tech program (--)
      - If you research the stealth bomber (which is better in all points to the T3 heavy bomber), you have no need to continue this tech line (+)

      Summarised : ++++++--- : +++ : "To be honest, i don't know how one may counter it in this specific scenario. I'd prefer to face an ICBM because i can prepare against it, somehow. This... I can just brace for the impact and hope he will not get an too valuable target.


      This should give you food for thoughts. I tried to make an exhaustive explanation that would not sound the vague "well, it depends", but with this unit, we are in the area of the game where things get a bit subtle. I may look like i'm a total fan of the heavy bomber, it's not the case. I make them sometimes, but it's really not an unit i have "on my to do list". When i make them, though, it's through this kind of reasoning because i saw an oppportunity to make them decisive.
      Running an online alliance is pretty much like running a small company, except you need to find other way than money to keep your employees productive. May they play or work, they are humans.
    • Same kind of study can be made for the role "City Buster" if you wish. And you may come to the conclusion that the Heavy Bomber doesn't shine too to this role :D
      Running an online alliance is pretty much like running a small company, except you need to find other way than money to keep your employees productive. May they play or work, they are humans.
    • Opulon is 100000% right!!!! I see tons of people using strikes or asf for their CM platform but i use the HB because a stack can hit multiple ground troops and still have left over to hit all cities/provinces with airfields. Which 9/10 are the targets i attack first. Being able to hide them in the sea in a region 9/10 people will never check let alone able to reach is amazing for deterant
    • High infrastructure demand (it used to be 3rd level air base I believe in past, or even 2nd long time ago?), low HP, it can be hit by every kind of AA and fighters = pointless to use except if you are sure your enemy isn't having air cover in his main cities, and you can't go there and burn them by conventional means soon. But, by the time you will learn about his AA cover or lack of it, most likely you will have better sources to strike him. Sadly another unit pointless to use (except very specific conditions, like those of Opulon for example), at least since AA got huge buff (10m fire and so on). It could be used as cruise long range carrier, but generally anti missiles cover is easy to be created, thus again pointless. Of course theoretically main purpose of this unit is strategic bombardment of infrastructure.
    • Issue is if you play against newbie players or against experienced players ...

      1) in case you play against newbies HB is very good tool.
      2) in case your enemies are experienced, HB is useless or may be used very rarely.

      Standard "land" countries development way is:
      First step. choppers / strike fighters, fighters for fast early expansion and counter expansion. Here no place for HB due to its high manufacturing demands , low speed in operations (SF may strike almost twice in same time) and low damage against "hard" units.
      Second step: SAM and long range artillery. SAM is excellent tool to clear skies for both offense and defense and also may defend core cities against BM at middle game so SAM developing is priority and usually till 22th-23th day SAM has maximum level and ability see stealth units. Once you have enough SAM, HB is useless again.

      Stealth HB + CM combination combination is awfully expensive and totally cant be used without tons of gold spending (as you know CM also shall be highly developed to be effective). SAM development and building is several times cheaper.
    • Yep.


      "Stealth HB + CM combination combination is awfully expensive and totally cant be used without tons of gold spending"

      No. Tried it once for the sake of data gathering (and to compare it to ICBM program), it's doable in public games when you hit your 40th city conquered,in average around day 14. However, it implies you invest prior to that in a few selected tech that anticipate this "huge spending". Ultimately, it's hard to pull by yourself, and one may question "why you should do it at all", but it's perfectly doable, especially if you have good allies that accept to give you resources for that.

      Of course, doesn't change that SAM program will always be cheaper. This raises in my mind the following question :

      "Is it an good choice to counter an ICBM-rush strategy ?". I need to calculate that.
      Running an online alliance is pretty much like running a small company, except you need to find other way than money to keep your employees productive. May they play or work, they are humans.
    • Bombers are late game units with an heavy focus on infantry damage, which is pretty pointless in late game. Late game units are mostly armored.

      Sure, they have a fucking huge range, but this makes them also extremely vulnerable to interception and drastically lowers 'attack frequency', giving them extremely kow damage per hour.

      As Opulon pointed out, the only thing good that remains is using them as CM hubs, but CMs are not that strong in late game, at least against well prepared player and even then I would probably only use stealth bombers for far remote actions.

      To make Bombers interesting and viable, I suspect a rework of air combat would be needed.

      Currently aircrafts and heavy aircrafts have different symbols but in regards of game play mechanics, they are interchangeable. So the distinction does not really make that much sense.

      As I once discussed with Opulon, a distinction between low, medium and high altitude aircrafts might help to make units like heavy aircrafts more interesting.


      Hear are some quick examples out of my mind, not sure how well balanced they are:

      Examples for Air units
      Choppers: are low altitude units, most ground units can defend quite well against them

      Air superiority: would be considered low altitude, while attacking ground units, but medium/high altitude while patroling/flying

      Strike fighters: are medium altitude units in regards of aircombat and ground combat

      Bombers: high altitude units, most ground units would not be able to defend against them

      Naval patrol: similar to Bombers, which would give it some usefullness back


      Examples for Anti-air units
      Anti-missile capabilities would remain the same.

      MAAV: strong vs low, weak vs med, useless vs high

      SAM: useless vs low, strong vs med, weak vs high

      TDS: useless vs low, weak vs med, weak vs high

      Frigate: useless vs low, strong vs med, strong vs high (or weak vs high, not sure)

      Cruiser: strong vs low, weak vs med, useless vs high


      Effect for Radar-units

      Radar: unable to see high altitude units

      AWACs: gets ability to swith between altitude: medium altitude, detects ground units, high alitude, does not detect ground units (or very low range)
    • Hmm... Nice looking concepts here, but it not fits to devs's philosophy - low effort high result.

      What if Bomber has 6/10/14 vs inf and 6/10/14 vs armored? Like stronger Strike Fighter, due to much more space for ordnance (still not sure why it's low on armored now - laser guided bombs etc. ),
      Is this "little" change won't make bomber a desirable unit, which anyone can use to support any ally on the map very quickly? Still vulnerable against any AA so I don't see "op" here.
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      The post was edited 3 times, last by Efreet: grammar, readability ().

    • Efreet wrote:

      Hmm... Nice looking concepts here, but it not fits to devs's philosophy - low effort high result.

      What if Bomber has 6/10/14 vs inf and 6/10/14 vs armored? Like stronger Strike Fighter, due to much more space for ordnance (still not sure why it's low on armored now - laser guided bombs etc. ),
      Is this "little" change won't make bomber a desirable unit, which anyone can use to support any ally on the map very quickly? Still vulnerable against any AA so I don't see "op" here.
      Not sure, what you mean.

      Naval patrol needs airport 3 and bombers need airport 4, which is by default not 'low effort'. At their current state they are not really worth the necessary effort.

      Heavy aircraft are also still easily countered by Air superiority, a unit that still the least effort to craft.

      Thinking about it, bombers are currently a lot like choppers, just with more vulnerability but much bigger range.


      Not sure if a 'being a stronger strike fighter' would make them more valuable. Just keep maxing your strike fighters would be still the more logical choice in my opinion.
    • "Not sure, what you mean.

      Naval patrol needs airport 3 and bombers need airport 4, which is by default not 'low effort'. At their current state they are not really worth the necessary effort."

      I think about the game development effort, and you think about in game production effort. Not important anyway. My English is mediocre, so I can't guarantee clear statements. :)
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      "We rarely recognize how wonderful it is that a person can traverse an entire lifetime without making a single really serious mistake — like putting a fork in one's eye or using a window instead of a door."
      - Marvin Lee Minsky

      ***



    • back to topic, I think Opulon has said eveything what has too be said.

      Heavys are a special Kind,.. no brute Hammer but you can play them very effective,...

      If I just could remember who this guy was who drove the Bombers to the center of Australia in Opulons example,.... hmmmmmm :thumbsup: :saint:


      Maybe the same king of Idiots who tries to get a look on highlvl frigates with a stack of heavy Stealthbombers.... ^^
      Lesson earned: Heavys are a great tool if you are able to handle them.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      That was not me, that was already broken!
    • Updated: I try it and now I think now im addict to it......

      Gotta mention that Im very bad at general and meta.
      I don't know how to pump out 99 infanty in day 7 in order to conquest and get more land.
      I have to reseach a lot to counter enemy units.
      so I discover my fav tactic, just sit in my country do nothing but pumping out factory.
      since I don't have to reseach and produce any unit I can save it to reseach and mass product stelth bomber.
      once my coalition is in war... I send out almost 10-15 stelth bomber and annihilate enemy city to ash.
      only flaw is I need good coalition member to protect me from all kind of attack but very enjoy to see full upgrade city turn to nothing

      any way I think this post may need to close soon.