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Role of bombers in relation to fighters

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Borussia, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. Zanteogo

    Zanteogo Chieftain

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    I agree that fighters are just way better than bombers. Bombers do slightly more to cities, but your cannon units are way way better at taking down cities. Because planes (for most of the game) are limited to attacking from your cities, you generally have cannons in reach of the cities your bombers can attack any way. Plus your cannon units don't have to worry about air defence and don't take oil.

    A fix would be to up the city killing power of bombers by a large margin.
     
  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Just as a datapoint for the discussion. In my current game I am building Triplanes on turn 352. I have 6 cities and each city is building them within 3-5 turns. With the occasional buy, in 5 turns I will have 9 planes ready to go.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Hehe I feel like my current game was made specifically for this argument. So from my last note, for the last 70 turns the Dutch and I have been warring, and its plane city. He and I are both going big air, with anti-air craft guns and fighters abound. People are bashing on planes but my god when it comes to defensive war they are amazing. I'm just sitting here sniping off any unit I want, and when they are hurt, I let my medic 2 hospital city heal they up....far faster than any unit out on the field could recover. I'm killing tanks with triplanes and it feels good.

    Now I understand if people are winning their games around the 400 turn mark or lower why they may not like planes. But I will say if you have the time to use them they have so much bang for the buck. They just keep going and going and going, killing what I want when I want, no matter the terrain.
     
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  4. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Are the AA guns doing anything?
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Generally unless the coverage is really good, I generally can always find holes to take out units. But if I can't, I can do an air sweep on the AA gun and then just strike with my 10 other planes.

    AA guns are a nice stable, cheap AA solution when you don't have a lot of oil...but a fighter with multiple interception promotions is your "true" AA....and I don't find the AI uses them that much.
     
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  6. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Warlord

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    What difficulty/speed? Triplanes on turn 350 is very late, you should be building Stealth Bombers at that turn
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Emperor/Standard/Small Map. Yeah its definitely been a slower science game. Myself and the leaders are focusing on culture and diplomatic victory, and we put in the policy for -33% scientist/merchant/etc.

    But yeah when you don't have diety AIs to spring board off of with TRs and spies...the game takes a little longer:)
     
  8. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Warlord

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    Yeah maybe it is the case, if everyone don't care about science - you have more time to build Factories, etc, thus your production is relatively higher
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    One option for bombers would be to give them splash damage as a base ability. I mean....bombers are like the epitome of wide spread damage.
     
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  10. vyyt

    vyyt Chieftain

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    Ok, I played a little more and giving the malus to fighters against land and sea and a big one against cities proved perfect for giving the fighters and the bombers distinctive roles. I also decreased their cost a little and moved them one tech tier earlier. All world problems are solved now, you can close this topic and go home now :)

    Splash damage to bombers would be nice as a later promotion IMO.

    My only remaining gripe with planes in Civ5 is that you cannot destroy them unless they attack you or you take the city where they are based. I think it would be nice if stationed planes (all? one?) took some small damage if you bomb their city.
     
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  11. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Traditionally (from my limited understanding of military history), fighters were used primarily to clear the air so that bombers could safely come in and destroy actual targets. Fighters were also sometimes used to break enemy ground positions in terms by forcing people to take cover and scatter from small bombs and strafing fire. This did very little damage but did create terror and cause disorganization and slowed advances. I don't know if they did this more effectively than bombers.

    Proposal:
    Fighter primary purpose is to scout (already implemented), kill enemy planes (already implemented) and provide cover against flak units (already implementrd). Therefore, we just need to make them less effective against other targets. Triplanes and fighters deal -50% against land, naval and city targets. I think this means that AA guns and Mobile SAMs are even more effective against planes, which is undesirable. I believe that AA should be less effective from the ground than from the air. AA should be a secondary choice if you need all of your planes for other duties/in other locations.

    Add a promotion available to both the fighter and bomber lines that either:
    Causes attacked targets to gain a promotion that gives -1 movement for 1 turn, as per the Boarded I promotion. Merge with the Boarded I promotion so they can't stack (rename to Disorganized?).
    Or:
    Causes attacked targets to gain a promotion that gives -10% combat strength against melee and ranged units for 1 turn (name it "Scattered?").

    The promotion (second especially) gives some combined arms support to aircraft, buffing them without pushing them too far into air force trumps all.

    I like the splash damage promotion for bombers. Bombers should probably also have a promotion line that gives them extra damage against land and naval (if they don't have it already?). The other promotion line can focus on cities and fortified units.

    Information Era:

    From what I understand, almost all fighter jets are multi-role, and have essentially combined the tactical bomber and fighter into a single plane, and the strategic bomber is still around but rarely used (and then only against installations and fortified positions).

    Do stealth bombers still have a high chance to not be intercepted, but can't be put on carriers? Will that plus the super long range be enough to keep them distinct from jets, if jets lose the proposed land and naval penalties from earlier eras, but still have the penalties against cities? Is it worth the verisimilitude? What would stealth bombers need to gain to keep up with jets with this proposal?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  12. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    No good. We used to have this kind of fighters and they were useless. If fighter's only role is to defend or attack bombers, but the enemy does not have planes, they are good for nothing, which was the case most of the time.
    The best way is to do as we did with ranged/siege units: the problem with siege units was that focusing just on cities was not enough, as they lack utility when not willing to conquer. So now siege units are good against naval too, and I have a reason to station siege units in my coastal cities.
    Bombers have the same problem right now, they are too focused on cities. They just need a secondary target that they can deal with better than fighters.
    Not a bad idea for fighters, actually, but I wonder if that alone would justify building fighters if fighters can't proficiently kill land units.

    What if fighters were better against fast and light units and bombers were better against slow units, naval and cities?

    Now, this reminds me, is anyone using anti-aircraft promotions?
     
  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Warlord

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  14. Zanteogo

    Zanteogo Chieftain

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    I have never. It’s too small and too niche compared to other promotions.
     
  15. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    The issue we're looking at right now, aside from the single-mindedness of bombers is that fighters are good anti-unit, and also the counter to all aircraft. Why build bombers at all if fighters are good against all units, and you can use conventional artillery after your fighters have cleared the opposition away?

    Multi-role and ground attack aircraft only came about in the 1960s (ie second-tier information) along with guided missiles; before that it seemed like most fighters were air superiority and interceptors, with only minor forays into ground assault.

    Before the invention of guided missiles, militaries fielded fighters to get rid of bombers, or to clear out the opponent's fighters so they could use their own bombers (in addition to reconnaissance, and other things not available in Civ like electronic warfare).

    I could easily see it happening this way in VP. If you're attacking, bombers trump all. There's no reason to build fighters until the enemy starts defending with its own AA. If you're defending, fighters clear out the air space while bombers can attack defensively. Again, if the attacker doesn't field AA, your bombers will decimate his attacking forces.

    Why build fighters if your opponent can't counter your bombers? Is this a problem with the AI where they don't build fighters and anti-air? @Gazebo, can the AI respond to the presence of bombers and know it has to build anti-air in the form of fighters/AA guns?

    Bombers definitely need an anti-ground/navy promotion line. Fighters could get it too to pull them back up to parity with an un-upgraded bomber.

    This nets:
    Default Bombers are good against cities and ground/naval units, but take heavy damage against interception. Can be upgraded to be either great against cities or great against ground/naval units.
    Default Fighters are good at both intercepting air targets, and in sweeping out interceptors (both AA ground units and fighters), but deal reduced damage against ground/naval/city targets. Can be upgraded to be either: great at interception, great at air sweeps, or good at ground/naval targets.

    There does seem to be Air Assault I & II which gives +30% total against air and naval, and available to both fighters and bombers? Would that be better as a full promotion line?

    What's considered a light unit? Helicopters are supposed to be the best at tanks (the fast units).
    Would this be enabled via earned promotions, or default promotions on the bomber class?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  16. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Current Aircraft Promotions seem kind of flat and sparse. Dogfighting Fighters only get 1 side promotion at tier 1 compared to Interception Fighters' 2, but it doesn't really matter because after tier 2, the side promotion availability is identical, and most aircraft will start the game with three promotions.
    With Sortie + Range, Triplanes (Modern Era) and Fighters (Atomic Era) can have a longer range than Bombers and Heavy Bombers (with Range). Stealth Bombers can't be put on Aircraft Carriers, but their range is only 10 compared to the Jet Fighter's 8.

    Bomber
    - Siege I (+33% Combat Strength vs cities)
    -- Range (+2 range)
    -- Siege II (+33% Combat Strength vs cities, total 66%)
    --- Air Targeting I (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval)
    ---- Air Targeting II (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval, total 30%)
    --- Siege III (+34% Combat Strength vs cities, total 100%)
    ---- Air Logistics (attack twice)

    Fighter
    - Dogfighting I (+33% Combat Strength during Air Sweeps)
    -- Air Targeting I (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval)
    ---
    Air Targeting II (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval, total 30%)
    -- Dogfighting II (+33% Combat Strength during Air Sweeps, total 66%)
    --- Range (+2 range)
    --- Air Repair (heal even after action, can get very high with arsenal, military base, hospital etc)
    --- Sortie (+1 interception, +1 range)
    --- Air Ambush I (+1 interception, +33% Combat Strength vs Armor)
    ----
    Air Ambush II (+1 interception, +33% Combat Strength vs Armor, total +2 interceptions, +66% vs armor)
    --- Dogfighting III (+34% Combat Strength during Air Sweeps, total 100%)

    - Interception I (+33% Combat Strength when intercepting)
    -- Range (+2 range)
    -- Air Ambush I (+1 interception, +33% Combat Strength vs Armor)
    --- Air Amush II (+1 interception, +33% Combat Strength vs Armor, total +2 interceptions, +66% vs armor)
    -- Interception II (+33% Combat Strength when intercepting, total 66%)
    --- Air Repair (heal even after action, can get very high with arsenal, military base, hospital etc)
    --- Sortie (+1 interception, +1 range)
    --- Air Targeting I (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval)
    ---- Air Targeting II (+15% Combat Strength vs Ground and Naval, total 30%)
    --- Interception III (+33% Combat Strength when intercepting, total 100%)

    I was testing this on an Information Era start and I saw that the AI quickly built up anti-air defenses. None of the players seemed to have oil or aluminum, so they built Mobile SAMs.

    Hilariously, Mobile SAMs with Flak Targeting I and II and nothing else are impenetrable from air. Air sweeping Dogfighting III Jet Fighters take 30-50 damage and deal 0, and an Air Strike after the sweep with Air Targeting II deals 6-8, while the Mobile SAM's Air Strike Defense deals 40+. This may be where @Stalker0 was having trouble with his planes. Any AA unit that doesn't get swept will just destroy any unit conducting an Air Strike mission.

    AA Guns and Mobile SAMs even have a stronger bonus to interception: (+300% with 1 promotion vs 250% with 3 promotions) although each Fighter can intercept up to 4 times (with another 3 promotions) and it's higher base strength means it can have a higher absolute combat strength if the effort is spent.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, @Gazebo: Flak Targeting I+II provides +300% to Combat Strength when intercepting, so a Mobile SAM will have 240 Combat Strength vs an Air Striking aircraft, and an Interception III Jet Fighter will have 280 combat strength against the same aircraft. Does this promotion interact with Air Strike Defense at all? What about the Armor Plating promotion? Does it interact with Air Strike Defense / Interception, or is it just useful against normal ranged and melee attacks? What about other combat strength modifiers, like the melee promotion lines / Morale and situational erfects like Great General?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  17. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 Chieftain

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    Perhaps Bombers lost a lot of their power when the lost Logistics?

    AA Guns seem to be very good against Air Units and not too bad vs Land Units, should they have a Penalty vs Land Units?

    Seems like a bad idea to have Fighters Intercept 4 times. They will get chewed up by Dogfighting Fighters. If you do want a Fighter to be constantly Intercepting, you should also increase their Heal Rate to ensure they don't get Destroyed as they Intercept.
     
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  18. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Bombers still have logistics, they lost air repair.
     
  19. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    I just realized that the only way to have an air superiority fighter is via Zeroes. Is there any reason why their promotion can't be opened up to the general fighter line, like the B17 "Reduced Damage" promotion is opened up to the bomber line?
     
  20. Galbias

    Galbias Chieftain

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    I do feel like Bombers get hard countered a bit too hard by interception. It seems like a Bomber that doesn't have Evasion will usually get one-shotted from full health by an equivalent-era Fighter unit if intercepted which really sucks because they're expensive. But there are a bunch of different possible interception sources (Fighters, AA Gun/Mobile SAM, Destroyers, I think Carriers as well), you often can't see a city to be able to tell how many air units are inside, and even if you can see a city, you can't tell how much range the air units inside have or if they have promotions that allow for multiple interceptions in a turn.

    The only real way to be sure is to use Air Sweep, but each Fighter can only use Air Sweep a maximum of once a turn, whereas promotions can allow Fighters to intercept multiple times, so there's an even further advantage for a defender. Ideally I would say a Fighter intercepting an equivalent-era Bomber with Air Ambush 1-3 would deal like 70-80 damage?
     

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