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I've been playing Axis & Allies Europe (first version) for a long time and have never found a real value in using my bombers to run Economic Attacks.

It seems that the strength of the bomber is to inflict a lot of damage while supporting ground attacks.

I'd rather destroy a tank that cost 5 IPCs plus the 3 turns to get it to the front than to gamble on the off-chance that I could remove 6 IPCs in an Economic Attack.

Am I seeing this wrong? Is there an advantage to Economic Attacks that I'm not seeing?

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Is this the first europe version or the 1940 version? –  quinestor Feb 10 '13 at 21:41
    
The first version (I'll add that to the question) –  pcantin Feb 10 '13 at 21:45
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Before the latest adjustments to 1940 editions, bombing has not been a favorite by players in tripleA and in A&A forums. Personally I disregard it as well as most friends I play with.

I'd rather destroy a tank that cost 5 IPCs plus 3 turns to get to the front than to gamble on the off-chance that I could remove 6 IPCs in an Economic Attack.

This applies to all editions of A&A. I agree, and I would add two more significant reasons not to bomb:

  • You are risking loosing a bomber (expensive unit) and most importantly:
  • If that bomber is bombing there.. what is it not doing?

Bombers can do many thing, ranging from a sacrifice (I.E. clearing out an infantry unit to open the path for an allied blitz) to desperate defense (I.E. Need to defend moscow one turn and with range 6, only bombers can reach).

In this version bombing is even more crippled because of the escort rules. The defender gains even more advantage. I never saw a game were bombing was decisive. The only thing I can point out is:

  • Russia has usually only one fighter
  • If Leningrad and or Archangel have fallen, as germany you may be just waiting to more units to have better odds in Moscow's last stand; a SBR can help in that turn that you don't assault and want to deal some damage.

  • Germany is going to take Archangel/Leningrad? Move the AA's out of there and when they conquer, you may have a free money drain as allies. That bomber is going to hang around for a final stand in moscow or Dday.

But even in these scenarios, there is usually an alternative to the SBR. We have sometimes adopted a house rule for AA fire on bombings: roll once to abort (on 2 or less); if suceed , roll once more to destroy (2 or less). Even then bombings are rare

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The biggest advantage, as I see it, is that the effects of a successful economic attack are more widespread. So while throwing your bombers into battle at your front can help make that battle more decisive, throwing your bombers on a Strategic Bombing Run can impair the defender's ability to reinforce any other front on the map.

If, for example, you're strong on one front but one of your allies (or one of your other fronts) is being pummeled, a Strategic Bombing Run would let you take some heat off without (or in addition to) turning around and reinforcing it directly (which not only takes time, but also weakens your original line).

Yes, overwhelming your opponent can be a good tactic, but sometimes all you need to do is hold the line long enough for reinforcements to arrive, or for your allies to break through elsewhere. And if you can do that without committing (all of) your bombers to the battle, the territory-wide effects of a well-timed economic attack can be significant.

Europe during WW2 was not a one-front war. So when committing your bombers, just ask yourself how important any particular front is right now to the overall war.

(Full disclosure: I've played A&A, but never A&A:Europe in particular. Feel free to downvote me to oblivion if this post isn't actually useful and/or applicable.)

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The last time I played the original A&A was in the mid 90ies so I have no way to compare with the Europe version. On the other hand A&A:Europe also poses the multiple front problems. Still I find that the bombers make more 'economic' damages on the battle front. –  pcantin Feb 10 '13 at 22:15
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The economic war works best when you have no military targets to attack.

Suppose all your potential targets are filled with infantry (3IPCs), which can absorb losses, while there are enemy fighters to "kill" your bomber. Then it might be worth trying to destroy 6 IPCs, while having a one in six chance of your bomber getting shot down.

On the other hand, if there are good targets of tanks or planes that your bomber can reach, it might be better to attack them.

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