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Old Aug 15, 2009, 05:33 AM   #1
Shambolica
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Bomber Support

How do you guys keep your bombers useful in the game?

I find as soon as the A.I. gets fighters the bombers are not so useful, except for damaging incoming naval ships without carriers. Even the stealth bomber gets shot down by vanilla fighters (not jets).

Let me ask a newbie question please:

If I have fighters on the same tile as my bombers, set for engadge and then set my bombers off on an attack run and they come under attack by the AI's fighters, will my fighters engadge (offer effectively bomber support)? If so, what's the attack order: his fighter against my bomber, then my fighter against his fighter? Even this would not be ideal, I'm losing bombers (ok, he's also losing fighters)

If not then would it not be so much better to allow my fighters to offer bomber support?

A few different ideas for this to be implemented:

* Keep it simple; all fighter vs fighter battles are resolved first and anything the AI has left is used to attack bombers

* The AI chooses randomly which to engadge - a bomber of a fighter. If it engadges a bomber then that battle is resolved first, maybe the bomber gets a defensive bonus for being protected by fighters. The fighters then square off and it could be the case that my fighter gets a large offensive bonus (or doesn't take damage at all, as the other enemy jet is merely trying to evade - maybe have a chance of evasion, at which point that battle is over) because the enemy has targetted my bomber. If the AI chooses the fighter then the fighter vs fighter battle is resolved normally.

* Radar Station Building / Upgrade to an airport (with radio, maybe a unit not a building, so you can move it around to front lines) - This building allows fighters to perform duel roles. A fighter can be assigned bomber support but if that is not required on the bombing attack run then the fighter is also on standby to engadge incoming enemy units during the same turn.

At the moment I just find it depressing watching stealth bombers being shot down consistently, they're expensive! The good news is; I'm a noob so am probably not playing at all well
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 06:21 AM   #2
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Unfortunately air combat in Civ 4 is very limited

I think the only way to do what you want to do is to order your fighters to do an airstrike on the city, and hope that your fighters get intercepted by the enemy fighters and that they then win the resulting battle. Then when you send in the bombers the enemy fighters will be dead, or at least so weakened that if they intercept the bomber, the bomber will win.

There is an air combat mod which allows more air missions, including an air superiority mission which allows you to order your fighters to attack enemy fighters in a city, by selecting the target city, same as you would for a bombing mission. I don't know what the mod is called but it is included in the Quot Capita modpack. Also I don't know if it works for vanilla or just BtS.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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The secret to it is to keep building more and more. The enemy doesn't gain experience from shooting down your bombers, and you are bound to inflict a substantial amount of damage with a lot of bombers. I gather, however, that BtS has something limiting the number of bombers in a city?
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 08:55 AM   #4
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When you want to bomb someone who already has fighters, you should send your fighters first. Pick ANY target within his/her fighters' range and attack it. Their fighters will try to protect the area and either yours or theirs will die. Send more fighters. When you stop having dogfights, it is safe to send the bombers.

A way to have more concentrated firepower is using Carriers. Each city can only have 4 planes (8 with airport), so you can put 3 or 4 carriers loaded with fighters in the city plus the 4 or 8 bombers.

Quote:
If I have fighters on the same tile as my bombers, set for engadge and then set my bombers off on an attack run and they come under attack by the AI's fighters, will my fighters engadge (offer effectively bomber support)?
No, your fighters will do nothing. You only have fighters vs fighters if you attack with your fighters first.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 09:52 AM   #5
Shambolica
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Guys, thanks alot, working much better now, just sending in the jets first and they're being engadged and shooting down the fighters. Then it's a clear run for the bombers. Time for some shock 'n' awe - I'm giving 'em hell.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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yeah, this cleared up some things for me as well.

thanks guys.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camikaze View Post
The secret to it is to keep building more and more. The enemy doesn't gain experience from shooting down your bombers, and you are bound to inflict a substantial amount of damage with a lot of bombers. I gather, however, that BtS has something limiting the number of bombers in a city?
Air combat in BtS is very different from vanilla and Warlords.

You can have only up to four air units in a city (eight with an Airport). Forts can hold four air units each.

Air units have experience, as air combat works more like other unit combat now. The two duke it out until one loses, and the winner gets experience. Interception by ground or water units does a fixed amount of damage (up to and including shooting the air unit down).

Fighters start with a 100% interception rate, which goes down as it takes damage. They no longer intercept only once per turn, but instead are able to intercept as many units as the attacker throws in, until shot down. Because of how the combat works, bombers can shoot down fighters.

So, the enemy does gain experience from shooting down your bombers, if you're playing BtS.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant Teacher View Post
A way to have more concentrated firepower is using Carriers. Each city can only have 4 planes (8 with airport), so you can put 3 or 4 carriers loaded with fighters in the city plus the 4 or 8 bombers.
Another way around the limit for cities is to build forts - they can hold up to 4 planes too. I had quite a few desert tiles in my land next to a civ and found that they are great tiles for building bomber bases (forts) on - who knew that desert tiles would be useful.

Just remember to put a unit on the fort to protect against other units wiping out your bomber base.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ruff_hi View Post
Another way around the limit for cities is to build forts - they can hold up to 4 planes too. I had quite a few desert tiles in my land next to a civ and found that they are great tiles for building bomber bases (forts) on - who knew that desert tiles would be useful.

Just remember to put a unit on the fort to protect against other units wiping out your bomber base.
That's true. Thanks for reminding us. I guess I'm still not used to the BTS forts...
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 12:50 PM   #10
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It took me over two years to figure this out, but right click on a city with a plane cirling it and the fighter should ingage tth other fighter
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Thanny View Post
Because of how the combat works, bombers can shoot down fighters.
And of course that DOES make sense, considering many of the larger bombers in WWII were well armed against fighter attacks.

My own Grandfather was a B-17 waste gunner, and likely had the chance to fire on German fighters.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by hipifreq View Post
And of course that DOES make sense, considering many of the larger bombers in WWII were well armed against fighter attacks.

My own Grandfather was a B-17 waste gunner, and likely had the chance to fire on German fighters.
It makes sense for Bombers versus Fighters, but not so much Stealth Bombers versus Jet Fighters.

But again, game play versus realism is a no brainer.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:00 PM   #13
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In addition to forts, you can also use your allies' cities as bomber bases as well, provided you have open borders with them and they have room in the city.

Last edited by VirginiaRounder; Sep 24, 2009 at 02:04 PM.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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Have a fair amount of fighters. (You're bombing a city for example) Send fighters in first (to bomb city defences for example), they'll engage with enemy fighters and once all of them are shot down (you'll know when your fighter actually succeeds to bomb city defences), send in bombers and enjoy, SAMs are your only consern now... and sometimes mechanized infantry, but that's not a big problem.
As for naval units, don't attack them with bombers, use fighters.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 06:38 PM   #15
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Defending against air attack isn't hard. Airports in your cities with 8 fighters in each, set to intercept, and maybe some fighters in forts if you've suitable places to build them: fighters can make unlimited interceptions until they're finally shot down after being damaged. SAM units in plenty. Even Destroyers can help - one once shot down one of my Stealth Bombers.
So attacking by air can be difficult. You have to reduce your fighter force to make room for the bombers: once the remaining targets are out of range of your airports you're restricted to 4 aircraft per city until (and unless) you can manage to build new airports - I believe enemy airports are always destroyed on conquest: and if the target city has a Castle then bombing it does less damage than you'd expect (try Air Strike mode instead, but the target may have a Bunker). There is a definite bias in favour of the defending side, assuming reasonably equal forces.
Fighters on carriers is something I've never tried, because I nearly always play on huge pangaeas which have relatively few coastal cities and pleasantly often I get bombers before my opponents get Flight.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 12:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by VirginiaRounder View Post
In addition to forts, you can also use your allies' cities as bomber bases as well, provided you have open borders with them and they have room in the city.
IIRC, the amount of air units you can have in their cities is independent of the air units they have there. Anyone know for sure, though?


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As for naval units, don't attack them with bombers, use fighters.
Better yet, a sub/missile cruiser (hereby known as an MC) with some cruise missiles, a couple of battleships, and some destroyers. Missile the stack, do some barrage damage with the battleships/MCs, and pick off the survivors with the destroyers. The real key is finding the enemy fleet first. I often keep blimps around after flight just for their recon range -- at least until stealth bombers show up. Find the enemy stack out in the open ocean and perform some MDK on it. Fighters on patrol don't do so hot when they're laying on the bottom of the ocean with the carrier they came in on

Also... who else knew that subs can travel/hide under ice sheets? I only discovered that last week
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 12:25 AM   #17
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 01:41 AM   #18
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I like fighters more generally. If interception is getting too annoying just spam cruise missiles.

Nevertheless, tanks + fighters is one of my favorite game-ending combos. For cities with only a few units, the fighters don't even have to bombard, they can just air strike. Tanks do pretty well against infantry with < 15 str.

For tougher cities, let the tanks heal a turn or so while the fighters bombard (their bombard is a little crappy but it works), then go. CR or even just combat tanks will handle any defenders other than anti-tanks and mech inf+ easily. Anti-tanks are not typically massed though.

For water maps lots of marines on carriers + fighters can help a lot.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 01:54 AM   #19
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Especially Jet fighters. They have incredible range, and they really pump up the usefulness of Carriers.

Bombers work, but you need fighters to make them work. Have bombers in forts behind the city if possible, and fighters in the city.

Late game, you can probably get Cruise missiles in 1 turn in your semi-crappy cities, and they can really help you keep up the steam of an assault.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 11:51 AM   #20
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In addition to forts, you can also use your allies' cities as bomber bases as well, provided you have open borders with them and they have room in the city.
Unless something changed in the last patch, you can put bombers in another civ's city if you have Open Borders with them. Just make sure that you also put a couple of ground units with them for defense if the friendly/allied city is close to your enemy's border. I once lost some perfectly good bombers because the friendly Civ also had Open Borders with the enemy.
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